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A First Time User’s Guide to Credit Cards

If you are planning to get a credit card for the first time, there are quite a few things that you will need to consider. While a credit card can be very useful and beneficial for a number of reasons, it’s not something to be taken lightly. You need to be extremely cautious when going through this process. Those who rush into obtaining a credit card will undoubtedly regret it at some point. Many people have credit cards but don’t know everything they should about them.

Selecting Your First Credit Card

The first thing you need to do is to choose the right credit card, as there are many options available. You will want to find a card that matches your needs as closely as possible. If you buy from Amazon a lot, you might want to look for a card that is designed to give the most cash back for this site. Look at the details of each card so you will know which one is right for you. If you are a student, you will want to look for a card that is specifically for students.

You should also make a point of finding out what kind of interest rate each card comes with. Some cards come with a 0% introduction rate, but it’s only for a limited time. It usually lasts six months to a year. Once this period has expired, you will have to start paying interest on the money you owe. Shopping around for the right card will help you get a reasonable rate.

Don’t Charge More Than You Can Reasonably Afford

It can be easy to get carried away with using a credit card, but you need to keep yourself reigned in. You should never under any circumstances charge more than you can afford to your card. Think about this very carefully, especially before making a big purchase with plastic. Some people are better at others than doing this, and it does require a lot of self-discipline.

Paying Your Bills

The importance of paying your credit card bills on time cannot be overstated. You need to know when your bill is due and pay off as much as possible. A lot of people just pay the minimum amount on their cards, but this isn’t a good idea. You should always try to pay off your full balance, preferably before you even get the bill. This will help you improve your credit and keep it from getting damaged. Being even a day late paying off your card can rack up a lot of debt very quickly.

Look Out for Fees

It’s also important for you to pay close attention to the fees that each credit card comes with. Credit card companies make a ton of money on fees, so you have to be aware of this from the start. There will be fees for everything from regular purchases you make with your card to cash advances, and they are all different. Some things come with heftier fees than others, so you have to get these details.

Using Your Card for Cash

There are times where it can be tempting to use your credit card to get some quick cash, but it’s almost never worth it. Cash advances come with extremely high fees, even for those with good credit. If you need to borrow a significant amount of money, try getting a short-term loan from a private lender. Taking money out of an ATM with your credit card will cost you big time.

Check Your Statements and Credit Report

You will need to make a point of checking every credit card statement you receive for errors. These mistakes can happen from time to time, so you need to check your statements. If someone steals your identity and makes purchases with your card, you’ll want to know about it right away.

It’s also a good idea to take a close look at your credit report at least once every year for the same reason. If you spot a mistake on your report, you will need to contact the appropriate agency to let them know. Even one accidental negative mark on your credit can do quite a bit of damage. The sooner you catch these mistakes, the sooner you can get them resolved.

While credit cards can be immensely helpful in a lot of situations in life, they can also be your worst enemy if you are unprepared. Anyone who is getting a credit card for the first time needs to take these things into consideration. Even one seemingly small misstep with a credit card can have lasting negative effects. It is imperative that you are responsible with how you use your card so that you don’t end up in a spiralling pit of debt.

8 Things you Should Never Do When Getting a Personal Loan

There are many different things that you should avoid doing when trying to obtain a personal loan. Even a seemingly small error in judgement can have hugely negative and lasting consequences to your credit and finances. This article will take you through some of the most common mistakes people make with personal loans. The more you learn about these mistakes, the easier it will be to avoid them altogether. You don’t want to get so caught up in getting approved for a loan that you make a careless mistake.

  1. Not Shopping Around for the Best Rate

Some people borrow from the first lender they find who will approve them for the loan they need. This is a gigantic mistake and it’s a good way to pay more than you have to. When you take the time to shop around for the right lender, you can get a reasonable interest rate on your loan. Spend as much time as you need to doing this research so that you can save yourself money overall. A good example of a reliable and reputable lender is Omacl.co.uk.

  • Failing to Check Your Credit Report

A vast majority of people do not check their credit report before applying for a personal loan. The main reason you want to do this is so you know where you stand with your credit as a whole. Your credit will almost certainly impact your ability to get approved for a loan to some extent. It will also provide you with the opportunity to check for errors, which do sometimes occur. While these errors are not extremely common, they can happen and it’s important you catch them quickly.

  • Only Looking at Your Monthly Payment

Many people get far too caught up in their monthly loan payment amount and forget about the big picture. There are other fees involved in getting a loan that you have to consider. Make sure that you know what all of these fees are and what they add up to. This will help you to get a full and complete picture of what you owe on your loan. You don’t want to just focus on the principal, because you will definitely need to pay back more than just that. Some lenders charge what is known as an origination fee, which you have to pay upfront. You can sometimes get this fee waived, but it depends on the lender.

  • Skipping the Negotiation

You should always try to negotiate with lenders so you can get the best possible terms for your loan. The fact is that most lenders are pretty flexible and they’re willing to bend a little bit for most borrowers. The more negotiating you do, the easier it will be to get a lower rate than the lender initially gave you.

  • Not Taking Care of Your Debt Before Applying

If you have any outstanding debts with creditors, you should take care of them before applying for a new loan. When a lender discovers that you still have a significant amount of debt, they will be very reluctant to approve your loan application. Make sure that you pay off as much of your debt as possible before trying to get a personal loan. This will reduce your chances of getting stuck even deeper in debt for a very long time.

  • Borrowing More Than You Need

It’s never a good idea to borrow more money than you absolutely need, even if you think you can afford to pay it back. Keep in mind that you will have to pay interest and other fees on whatever you borrow.

  • Not Prequalifying

Most people should prequalify for the loan they are trying to get. This is basically when you find out what your chances are of getting approved with a certain lender. It will tell you what sort of rate you will probably get and other helpful information. When you get your response from the lender, you’ll know whether or not you should submit an official application.

  • Signing the Contract Without Reading it Over First

You absolutely need to read the loan contract that you are required to sign. This contract will tell you the exact amount of your loan, when it must be paid back, fees you will be charged, and other crucial details. If something stands out in the contract as wrong in some way, ask the lender about it before signing. Doing this can save you a lot of aggravation later on.

These days it is pretty easy for just about anyone to obtain a personal loan, but you have to be responsible and smart about it. Avoiding these mistakes can help you get the money you need without all of the hassle and issues. You don’t want to get any sort of loan on a whim.