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Avoiding Credit Card Traps

Avoiding Credit Card Traps

The next time you open your credit card statement, take a closer look at the small insert titled “changes to your credit card agreement”. You know the one I’m speaking about. It’s that small, folded paper written in legalese that you promise to read some other time (but of course that time never comes) or you just discard it with the other “junk” inserts.

First and foremost you must understand that using your credit card after you’ve received this notification results in your automatic “agreement” to the new terms in the notice. To prevent these new terms from affecting your account you must stop using that credit card immediately or by the date given in the notification statement.

The most common modifications to credit card agreements include new APR’s (annual percentage rates), new fees and/or changes to existing fees, or a change to the grace period on your account. The grace period is the number of days during which any credit used for purchases may be repaid in full without incurring a finance charge.

Not knowing or not keeping track of the dollar amount limit on your card is another trap you should avoid. Credit card issuers will allow you to charge a small amount over the limit set on your account. However, don’t be surprised when you get hit with an “over limit fee”, usually around $35.00 or higher, on your next statement. Also, be prepared for your APR to be increased if you go over your credit limit.

You’ll also trigger an increase to your interest rate if you miss your payment due date. Some companies consider your payment late if not received by noon or 1 p.m. on the date due. Along with the higher rate, you’ll also pay a “late fee” of $29 on up. Be sure to use the company’s preprinted envelope when sending your payment. These envelopes allow the pre-printed bar code to be scanned by the post office so that it can be delivered more efficiently.

If you’ve counted on those few extra days from the time you mail your check and the time the check clears your bank, beware! Many credit card issuers have switched from the traditional method of processing checks to a new electronic process. This new system shaves off a day or more from the traditional method it normally takes for your check to clear by electronically debiting your account.

If you’re considering paying your credit card bills online, check to see if any additional fees will be charged for using this type of payment. I recently received an e-mail message from one of my credit card companies announcing how easy it would be to make my payments online. Included in fine print at the bottom of the e-mail was this note - “A fee of up to $14.95 may be charged for this service and will be deducted from your checking account”. Hmmm, spend 37 cents on postage and mail my payment five days before the due date or pay now and get charged an additional $14.95 fee? I’ll bet you can guess which choice I made.

Taking the time to carefully read and understand your credit card agreement now will help you save money by avoiding unnecessary fees or climbing interest rates later down the road.

Bad Credit Auto Loan Refinance Reasons To Refinance Using The Web

Bad Credit Auto Loan Refinance - Reasons To Refinance Using The Web

If applying for an auto loan refinance, there are numerous lending options. Auto loan refinancing is beneficial for many reasons. Yet, several people have never considered this option. If your current auto loan rate is higher because you applied for the initial loan with bad credit, or fell prey to a dealership's scam, a refinancing may save you money.

Reasons to Refinance an Auto Loan

When selecting to refinance an auto loan, car buyers essentially choose a new auto loan to replace the old. The new loan typically has better rates and terms. Many lenders offer auto loan refinancing. Furthermore, creating a new auto loan is a quick process. On average, auto loan refinancing is completed within two days. Thus, it may be possible to pay a lower monthly payment by your next due date.

Requirement to Refinance an Auto Loan

For car buyers choosing to refinance, there are a few guidelines. If obtaining quotes from several auto loan lenders, skip your current lender. Auto loan refinancing entails using a different lender. Moreover, loan amount for the current vehicle must exceed $7500. Also, research the value of the vehicle before applying for a refinancing. You may do so by obtaining a copy of the Kelley Blue Book. If the amount owed is more than the value of the vehicle, you cannot refinance the loan.

Online Auto Loan Refinancing

Comparison shopping is very important when refinancing an auto loan. To avoid the hassle of contacting individual auto loan lenders, use the internet and make quick online comparisons.

There are several benefits to refinancing online. For starters, online lenders typically offer much lower rates than dealerships. Some dealerships are helpful, and offer prime rates. However, the majority of car dealerships increase the interest rate to their benefit. By using an online lender, you avoid scams.

Auto loan refinancing is also convenient because approval notifications are offered within minutes. If accepting a lender's offer, the loan documents and check are delivered to your home by the next business day. Simply sign the documents, and use the check to payoff the old vehicle loan.