Interest rate

4 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Credit Increase

Feeling penned in by the low credit limits on your credit card? You might be able to boost your credit limit to a higher amount. Often, all it takes is a single call to your card provider. The bigger question, though, is whether you’re financially prepared for a higher limit.

Your credit card providers will always set a credit limit on your cards, the maximum amount you can borrow. If you have a short credit history or a low FICO credit score, your credit limits might be low ones, sometimes under $1,000. If you have a long credit history and high scores, your limit might be $10,000, $20,000, or more.

How do know if you’re ready for the financial responsibility of a higher credit limit? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Do You Pay Your Credit Card Bill Late?

Do you pay your credit card bills by their due dates every single month? Or have you missed payments in the past? If it’s the latter, you might want to hold off on requesting a higher credit limit.

Paying your credit cards 30 days or more late will cause your FICO score to drop by 100 points or more. Your credit card provider will also charge you a penalty, and your card’s interest rate might soar. If you have a higher credit limit and a high balance, an interest rate spike could cost you quite a bit in extra interest payments.

Having a history of late payments will also give your credit card provider pause; the financial institution might not want to boost your limit if you don’t always pay your bill on time.

Do You Carry a Balance on Your Card?

The smart way to use a credit card is to pay off your balance in full each month. This way, you boost your credit score by making on-time payments, and you won’t get hit by the high interest that is often…

8 Most Common Mistakes When Doing a Balance Transfer to Eliminate Debt

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Many credit cards offer 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers, allowing you to move debt from high-interest cards onto one that offers zero interest for an introductory promotional period. These promo periods are nothing to sneeze at. They can last as long 21 months.

So what’s the catch? The truth is that balance transfer offers can be incredibly valuable, but only when you use them properly and avoid making some common mistakes.

1. Assuming You’ll Get the Best Balance Transfer Deal

You might not always be approved for the balance transfer card you want. For example, the best 0% APR deals are only given to those with excellent credit. While you may have had excellent credit in the past, having a large balance for a long time might have caused your credit score to slip. (See also: One Ratio Is Key to a Good Credit Score)

Even if you are approved for the card, it may come with a credit line that’s substantially lower than you need. If that’s the case, you may want to consider applying for a second balance transfer card.

2. Trying to Transfer a Balance From the Wrong Card

Consumers sometimes don’t realize that you can’t transfer a balance between two cards issued by the same bank. So if you have an outstanding balance on your Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can’t open up a new Chase Slate card and expect to transfer your balance to it.

Keep this in mind before you apply for a balance transfer card. Every time you apply for a credit card your credit score takes a little hit. It can usually recover fairly quickly, but there’s no need to ding it unnecessarily for a card that doesn’t even serve your needs. (See…

Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards

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Getting your first credit card is a financial milestone. Your credit card can become an essential tool that builds your credit and helps you manage your money. But too many credit card rookies have gotten in trouble with debt and fees, while others simply miss out on important benefits. (See also: What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Credit Card)

If you are about to apply for your first credit card, or are already using it, be careful not to make these six common mistakes.

1. Failing to Read the “Fine Print”

Getting a credit card is an important financial decision, and you need to read the details before choosing one. Thankfully, the most important terms and conditions of credit cards aren’t even written in fine print anymore. By law, credit card offers must show all of the interest rates and fees in a standard format and in large print, in what’s called the Schumer Box. And while you don’t need to hire a lawyer to go over every single sentence, you should understand the interest rates being charged and all of the fees you could incur.

2. Applying for the First Offer Without Comparing Interest Rates

When you are considering a credit card offer, you should take a close look at the standard APR (annual percentage rate) for purchases, and compare it to competing cards. Interest rates vary widely from card to card. If your account…

5 Providers of Debt Consolidation Services and Loans for Businesses

Debt Consolidation Services

Business and entrepreneurship in particular is among the riskiest endeavors you will ever take. Most of the time, you find that you have a unique business idea and a ready market. Things look up and to generate more revenue, you may choose to use your business credit card or take up a few loans just to finance and to build your business.

Unfortunately, there is an economic crisis, and you are unable to repay your loans and your sales drop. What do you do then? File for bankruptcy? Of course, this is the first idea that will cross your mind, but it may not be the best way out for you.

There is a better alternative – debt consolidation.

Debt consolidation refers to the putting together all your existing loans and credit card debts into one. Basically, you will take up a loan to repay your loan, now consolidated into one unit with a lower interest rate. The one big loan taken up pays off all your existing loans and credit debts and you will have one loan to service.

Your business is eligible for debt consolidation if you have several creditors breathing on your accountant’s neck monthly and when you need a better system of repaying all your creditors.

The first step is to determine the amount you owe against the amount you have or what you can afford to repay monthly. Choose a plan[1] that will work well for your business. After that, you should find a company or a reliable debt consolidation service provider. There are various service providers, but the main ones include:

1. Online debt consolidation companies/peer-to-peer lenders

There are many of these nowadays and you may be stuck on which company to choose, especially when inexperienced. As a rule of thumb, research, review, and ask, even though online businesses have debt consolidation loans[2] made easy. Your financial counsellors, colleagues, or acquaintances will guide you in the right direction. Some of the leading online debt consolidation loan companies include:

  1. LendingClub: This is one of the nation’s biggest peer-to-peer lenders. If your business’ credit score is strong, then you will enjoy debt consolidation services at low interest rates from this online entity. Their rates are easy to understand and calculate because all the necessary items are described clearly. The LendingClub has been accredited and you can trust…