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4 Tricks you need to play to get first credit card without credit history

tricks-you-need-to-play-to-get-first-credit-card-without-credit-history

The big trap for the smart mouse. You thought you would be fine avoiding debts and credits since high school days. Now, welcome to this big game you got to play. No credit history is way more troublesome than going with a bad credit history.

It is always a question of trustworthiness when a financial institution grants you a loan or is issuing you a credit card. You show your creditworthiness through a blemish free credit report and a good score to get the new credit card or any other form of revolving credit line. It’s that simple.

But, what if you don’t have a credit history till date? How to get your first credit card then. It seems like a stage of paradox. To get ‘A’ you must have ‘A’.

Truly, the only way to get a traditional credit card with a decent credit limit is to have a good credit score.

There’s no way you can break the wall.

But there are a few cracks through which we can slide in.

Let’s have an elaborate discussion on how to get a credit card without credit history. Our first focus will be building a good credit report. Or if you have little credit history, then how to shoot it up.

Try 1: Take out a credit builder loan

You go to a credit union or a bank that offers credit builder loans.

A credit builder loan is a small amount loan, usually taken out to build a credit history or recuperate a bad credit report.

But there is a catch. You start paying for your loan but you can’t have the loaned amount. The amount you borrow goes to a savings deposit account of the lender.

You lay your hands on that amount only after you are done with the full repayment of the loan.

If you are seeking this option, remember the lender has nothing to lose. The credit union or the bank offering this loan, has a full recovery option, if you don’t repay them.

You, on the other hand, will bring a huge negative impact on your credit report as a start off, with delayed payments.

So sleep over it before taking out this loan.

Try 2: Co-sign a credit card

Become an authorised co-user of an existing credit card.

Your co-signer should be someone you trust and one who trusts you. It could be your parents, family members or trusted friends and acquaintances.

But you will have a situation down here. This is like a tie up venture.

You will obviously have your own credit report built up, but irregular payments from any side will affect both the account holder’s report.

This is technically an easy way of creating a fresh credit history for beginners. People usually co-sign with their parents or close family members.

Eventually both must start to maintain a good payment history.

After you are done with a good 6 months or 1 year credit report, you can then apply for your first credit card by showing your credit score.

Try 3: Create a rental history

Say goodbye to your home for a few months or a year.

Start living on rent. You will learn to take up responsibilities!

Moreover you will start to create a credit history.

How’s that??

Well you are paying your rent, that’s one kind of a credit line after all.

Ask your owner to file your rental history to a credit union.

Regularly pay your bills to mark a good credit score so that you may go for your first credit card without any constriction.

Try 4: Get a secured credit card

We are all acquainted with security and back up.

This is a strategy that financial institutions play when people go for their first credit card with no existing credit report or score.

The banks will ask you to deposit a certain fund against your credit card. This is a collateral deposit, which will become your credit limit. Say if you deposit $1000, then your credit limit will be $1000 or a few percentage more, like $1100 or $1200.

With this card you start to activate your credit score from scratch.

After 1 or 2 years, when you have a striking score you return this card, take back your security deposit, and inquire for a traditional credit card.

Try 5:

You may also try out retail cards or store cards. These cards will help you to build a credit report, but you can only use them at selected stores.

Retail cards has offers and discounts.

They also give you cash back after using for a certain time.

There are series of retail cards in the market, choose wisely. You don’t want to fall a victim in the rigmarole of debts.

All the above methods are equally beneficial to building a new credit history or improving one’s bad or little credit history.

Now that you have learnt how to get a credit card without credit report or credit score no matter whatever state you are in, you must be clever at all the above methods. They are actually tricks you play to build your line of credit.

Don’t play foul, play safe, have a good income , and never miss any payment.

Check out: Credit Score (FICO) basics – How to improve credit scores

By carol on July 21st, 2017

Can you harm your credit score by posting in Facebook?

Can you harm your credit score by posting in Facebook?

We are aware of the fact that oversharing anything is a very common event in Facebook. Whether it is a picture, video, or even some text status message, we all share these things over and over again. This habit often lure us into a lot of trouble and makes our profile prone to harmful effects such as phishing, identity theft, cyber-bullying and much more. It may even harm our job life or create problems while obtaining a new one.

Soon the problem may go one step forward. Our sharing habit can be a probable factor that may influence our credit. It may also prevent us from applying for loans to certain lenders. Yes…that means your Facebook posts can harm your credit score.

Credit scoring companies are always keeping their eyes on our every move. Starting from the age of 18, they report every financial step in our credit report. By following that report, our banks decide if they want to provide money for our home, car, or any personal expenses.

Earlier 2017, rumors began to spread that FICO would start analyzing information that people share with their friends online. Even “The Financial Times” wrote in October 2016 that “Being ‘wasted’ on social platforms” like Facebook may damage our credit scores.

So, it’s crucial to check your online comments before you ruin your financial reputation. It is very easy to forget proper etiquette in the Internet, and also very easy to spend holidays in a luxury yacht. But don’t forget that it can be particularly dangerous.

So, what should we do? Let’s have a look what professionals said about this:

1. Maintain social media professionalism

Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach, discussed about the importance of maintaining professionalism in social media platforms.

She said whether it is right or wrong, our presence in every online social platform is considered as an replica of yourself. Most people just do not know how to behave naturally in social media platforms. It’s very easy to wear the “Professional” mask while at work. But once you are outside your office environment, that mask struggles to remain constant, especially in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Hopefully you handle your Facebook page with professionalism,” Whitmore described, “but that’s not always the way it is.”

People practically use social media platforms as their personal, open journal entries. Whitmore also said that our social media presence actually denotes our entity to the faceless masses. So, whatever we share through our posts, the common people will consider them as a reflection of our character. So, if we act recklessly on the Facebook posts, it also portray us as an reckless individual.

If the credit reporting agencies also consider us as reckless, that’ll also reflect in our credit report. So, it is clear that Facebook posts can harm your credit score.

2. Take caution during holiday season and vacations

Whitmore also said, people must maintain that professionalism throughout the year. When we go to a holiday, we usually forget what we are doing, and what actually we are posting in the Facebook. Others will post different responses on our posts and those feedbacks may affect our credit score, too.

You can recheck yourself and your posting habit through the holidays. People from other profiles will surely start reacting to your posts. So, do not post or share anything that can harm your profile, your personality, and your finances.

Whitmore’s 5 pieces of online etiquette advice

Whitmore have illustrated some unique tips on how we must behave in the social media platforms:

1. While making online interactions, behave with respect and dignity like you would in a direct interaction.

2. “Think before you post”. Consider the fact that whatever you are posting is noticeable by your current and future boss, your lenders, your religious leader, your elders and your kids. Avoid posting anything suspicious about your finances, or any other thing that you don’t want them to see and discuss about.

3. Don’t say anything controversial, vulgar, or mean spirited that could be used against you and harm your status.

4. Be aware of those people also who don’t know how to maintain professionalism. You need to understand that not everybody will maintain a clear and seamless image just as you are doing now. Not everybody will diversify their online presence between work and social media. So, if you somehow engage in social communication with those people, it might be devastating for your profile too.

5. We all know the fact that driving under influence a.k.a drunk driving is a very bad thing. This also applicable to social media, too. Most of the time, alcohol fuels loose lips. Whether in person or behind a monitor, be aware that alcohol can inhibit your ability to maintain a level of professionalism.

Conclusion

It is a fact that people know very little about how to present themselves in social media platforms. You never know who will tag your posts, share them, or comment on them. It is possible to moderate your post likes and comments, but you can’t do it immediately all the time.

So, your post or your posted comments may hamper your professional life and you may lose your job in a few years and be looking for a new one. Hence, it is proved that Facebook posts can harm your credit score.

By carol on July 7th, 2017

An authorized user or a joint cardholder – What are you?

An authorized user or a joint cardholder - What are you?

You have several options to share your credit card with another person. In most cases, you may add him or her as an authorized user in your existing accounts, or you can open a new joint credit card account.

On the other hand, do you recall signing an application with a friend or family member? Did you give your income or credit information? If any of these situations seem to be familiar, you probably co-signed on the account and are a joint account cardholder. On the other hand, if someone just handed you the card you’re more likely an authorized user.

To know the matter clearly, you can contact the credit card company and get the information. Another way is to pull your credit report and go through it properly.

  • If the letter “A” appears next to the account information, you’re an authorized user.
  • If it shows a “J”, it’s a jointly held account, and multiple people may have co-signed for the card.
  • An “I” denotes an individually held account, as you are the only owner.

Now let us know the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

a) Authorized credit card user

You might add any person as an authorized user on your account. The person may be your friend or family or just a roommate. It is likely that you’ll split expenses with that person and give permission to buy things using your credit card.

This person will be called an authorized user; you can add such an user in an existing credit card account.

Here are a few things you need to focus when adding an authorized user to your account:

1. You’re responsible for paying the bill

Remember, as the principal cardholder, legally you’re responsible solely for any debt accrued on the account.

Due to any circumstances, if an authorized user denies to be listed on your account, the person can practically remove himself from the account by informing the creditor through an application.

But you don’t have that chance at all. You’ll have to bear the debt burden and potentially, a ruined credit score, if that authorized user misuses your card.

Keep this in mind before adding any person as an authorized user to your account. Add those people whom you really trust.

2. You can boost partner’s credit without any harm

If your credit score is higher than your authorized user, his/her score will also get a boost at the time you add him/her with you. Your credit card issuer must also report the authorized user activity to the credit bureaus.

Due to this benefit, initially parents add their children as authorized users so that they get help to build good credit.

There is another benefit worth to mention.

Some credit card issuers only report positive authorized user activities to the credit bureaus.

So, if you forget to pay a bill, you won’t necessarily harm someone else’s credit. It’s crucial to read your card issuer’s rules and regulations regarding authorized user activity.

Generally, your kids need to be at least 16 to be considered as an authorized user. But, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For example, American Express and Discover both require authorized users to be 15, Barclays require 13, and few others like Bank of America/Capital One/Chase/Citi don’t have such criteria.

If you decide to add any authorized user, first discuss credit card basics with them and set up few guidelines for using the credit card.

3. You can add up extra income while applying individually

Because of the revision to the Credit CARD Act in 2010, you can list all your income including your partner’s at the time of applying a credit card, whether or not you decide to share that credit account.

b) Joint cardholders

Practically, opening a joint credit card account with your family member or friend is not a wise decision.

A joint account holder is a person who also owns and can manage your bank account. There is no restriction between the joint account holders for making any financial decision on that account.

A joint account is used to refer to bank accounts than credit cards. Joint account holders are equally responsible for paying the bills. Both original account holder and the joint account holder will be liable for mishandling the account and drop of their credit score.

It is because in the long term , you won’t be managing your expenses together.

Apart from that, if your family member or friend is under 21, it would be a bit risky for you. But if you and your partner decide to handle your finances together, this could be a great way to go.

In most cases, both you and your partner may have to apply for a new credit card together to get a joint account.

Here are few things you need to think about before opening an account with someone:

1. You both need to pay bills

With a joint credit card, you and your partner both are responsible for paying the debts on that account. If you both spend carefully, you can build good credit scores.

On the other hand, if you both miss any payment or overspend, your credit score will get a blow.

Don’t forget to communicate about your account balance and payment history so that both of you can avoid making costly mistakes.

2. Your credit score may hamper if your relationship changes

If you and the joint cardholder have a complex relationship, or if you both choose to stop handling money combinedly, you’ll likely have to close the account.

This may decrease the average time frame of your accounts and lower your credit scores.

If any one of you dies, you’ll be responsible for paying off the unpaid debts.

This doesn’t mean that you avoid opening a joint credit card, but you might consider to keep your balance low so that all of a sudden you won’t be left alone to pay off a large debt.

3. Your credit card issuer may have stopped the service

You might be out of luck due to certain issues created by card providers .

For example:

  • In 2013, Chase stopped joint account offerings to simplify their services.
  • Capital One scrapped its joint cardholder services 10 years ago.
  • American Express never offered it to consumers at all.

It may be possible that if you request your credit card company to add a joint cardholder, they might assume it as a request to include an authorized user.

So you may need to verify whether the credit card company offers joint credit cards at all before applying for one.

If you can manage your money well enough with your partner, friend or relative, you’ll definitely have less problems due to sharing the credit. Both of you will come out with flying colors because of your good spending habits.

But If things go wrong , and you share credit with an authorized user, he or she may be less affected; whereas joint cardholders will get a blow on their credit scores.

That’s why it’s important to keep the conversation about credit going, no matter who you decide to share credit with. With trust and communication, you can boost your credit scores together and earn more rewards.

By carol on June 23rd, 2017

6 ways you can get your credit score for free of cost

get credit score for free

To every one of us, credit scores matter. The credit score is an important factor for qualifying the cheapest rates on mortgages. Your good credit score may help you to get low insurance premium rates from insurance companies. You may even get a 0% annual fee credit cards.

But let me remind you that getting your hands on your credit scores can be expensive and confusing too. So, you must find ways to get free credit scores.

4 Factors to consider to access credit score

First, it’s crucial to know that you are actually getting your FICO score. Not all credit scores are calculated using the FICO formula. You must know what type of credit score you are getting. FICO score is the most popular among the lenders, but a non-FICO credit score is also valuable.

Second, you must know which credit bureau data is considered for calculating the credit score. There are 3 major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Your credit score from these 3 credit bureaus may vary as each of them may use different data they collect about each consumer. So, their score may also be different.

Third, some agencies will offer helpful analysis of your credit score. It means they’ll provide you with in-depth data on every good and bad items listed on your credit report. These reports are very important if you want to improve your credit score.

The last one is cost. It is better if you can get your credit score totally free. There are several ways to get your credit score for free.

So, keeping the above factors in mind, here are 6 ways to get credit score for free (or with a small fee):

Option 1 to 3 – Credit Sesame, Credit karma, and Quizzle

These are all separate services, but here they are all grouped together as each of them is totally free. You’ll have instant access to your credit scores online. You just need to sign up and answer few questions to confirm your identity.

But you must know that none of these services will provide you with FICO score.

  • Credit Sesame will provide you the Experian National Risk Model score.
  • Credit Karma will give you VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on informations from TransUnion and Equifax.
  • Quizzle will give you VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on Equifax.

Option 4 – Credit card

Credit card providers may offer you with a free FICO score on your monthly statement. The names of those credit card providers are – Barclaycard® Rewards, MasterCard®, Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, Discover it® card, First Bankcard, Citibank, and even Walmart, etc. So, get one of these cards and get your credit score for free.

Option 5 – Ally Bank

Ally Bank also provide free FICO® Score to help its auto finance customers. This started on February, 2015. However, the full operational service started in 2015 summer.

Option 6 – MyFICO.com

MyFICO.com offers credit score directly for a small fee. You’ll get the access to your FICO score after signing up with myFICO.com. It’ll cost you $24.95 a month.

You can cancel your online credit report from them at any point of time, although you’ll not get your refund if it is a partial month.

Your credit score act as a booster since potential creditors review your credit report to decide whether or not to offer you a loan or cancel your application.

To ensure you’re approved for a loan, or you’ll get the cheapest interest rates, it’s good to pull one of your free credit reports once in every 4 months. It’ll help you to maintain the highest possible credit score.

By carol on June 9th, 2017

FICO score – Why consumers might get lucky to get a boost in July

Card sign-up bonuses: 3 Important points to know before cashing in

In July 2017, the credit bureaus have announced that they’re taking the initiative to eliminate or “purge” most of the tax liens and public judgments from credit reports. Indeed, that’s a big relief for most of the consumers.

The three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and the TransUnion, are going to implement new rules for new and existing tax lien, public judgment records, or civil judgment data starting around from the 1st of July 2017.

So, practically this means – Consumers having tax liens or judgments on their credit reports are getting that information erased from the reports totally.

Tax liens are different from other negative items on your credit reports. Tax liens aren’t directly reported to the credit bureaus by your state taxing authority or the IRS. The three credit bureaus actively look out for such information regarding public records.

There’s no obligation in the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) that’ll require this removal of liens and judgments. Even there’s no conflict in the settlement language between the credit bureaus and all attorney generals that can influence this decision.

This choice is totally made by the credit bureaus for the betterment of common people.

Normally a judgment stays on a credit report for 7 years from the date of filing. Also, unpaid tax liens aren’t erased from credit reports. Even when a lien has been paid and released, it will still remain on the credit report.

So, the decision made by the three credit bureaus will effectively remove some of most crucial negative items from the credit reports.

This decision taken by credit bureaus is also causing some issues for lenders. They mostly use credit reports and credit scores to judge a person’s’ credibility while reviewing his/her loan application. From July onwards, the credit report isn’t going to show the judgments or tax liens anymore; so the lenders will face problem to judge riskier people with liens and judgments. Consumers with liens or judgments are twice as likely to default on loan payments.

While this is a good news for common people, but it’s not-so-good for creditors and lenders who depend on credit scores and reports for taking their final decisions. It’s now becoming very difficult for them to figure out how they’re going to differentiate between a risky borrower and a genuine borrower after July 1, 2017.

What happens next?

The approval process will be easier and approval time will be short as well. So, the borrowers might be influenced and could apply for additional credit activity. As a result, it is possible that the economic activity will be boosted pretty well. But it could potentially increase risks for lenders. As I said earlier, lenders will not be able to assess genuine applicants.

Erasing judgment and tax lien from credit reports may cause changes in consumers’ credit scores. As per myfico.com, approximately 12 million U.S. consumers, or about 6% of the total U.S. citizens have FICO credit scores, and they’ll notice the increase in their scores because of this decision.

Check out:
My spouse has a bad credit: How will it affect me?
7 ways to improve credit score while having burden of debt on your back

By carol on May 26th, 2017

Card sign-up bonuses: 3 Important points to know before cashing in

Card sign-up bonuses: 3 Important points to know before cashing in

Credit card sign-up bonus has become very popular these days. Many credit card companies offer sign-up bonuses for opening a new card. You may get rewards like cash back, points, double cash back, miles, free hotel stay, etc. All the sign-up bonuses are enticing. Many people are applying for a credit card just to get those sign-up bonuses. But there is a big catch that they might not be aware of.

The catch is, to get the bonus, you need to spend a certain amount on the card within a stipulated time after opening the account.

Apart from this, many terms and conditions are there behind the card sign-up bonuses.

Gary Leff, the writer of the “View from the Wing” said, “The bigger the bonus, the higher the spending requirement. Minimum spending requirements can range from less than $1,000 to $5,000 or even more. It’s fairly common to see offers in which you must spend $3,000 in 3 months.”

Here are other untold credit card sign-up bonuses catch you need to know beforehand.

1. Understand the offer’s terms and conditions

As I have said in the introduction that getting the sign-up bonuses is costly. You have to spend a certain amount within a certain period to get the sign-up bonus.

So, the truth is credit card sign-up bonuses is pushing you to overspend.

So, if you want to apply for a credit card just to get rewards, then think twice. Make sure you know every term beforehand. Try to know how much you have to spend to get the point or cash back.

After knowing the exact amount, ask yourself whether or not you are comfortable spending the particular amount within the stipulated time.

If your answer is yes, then go ahead and apply for the credit card to get the rewards. If you think you are able to spend $3000 within the time, then leave the idea of applying for a new credit card.

2. Not all spending will go on your new card

Remember, not every dollar of your spending will go on the new card.

Often, mortgage servicers, insurance companies, local utility companies, and landlords charge a certain fee to pay by a credit card; and it will cancel some of the benefits of a sign-up bonus.

3. Know the exact timeline

The terms and conditions of sign-up bonuses varies from one company to another. The common rule is that the credit card holder needs to spend a certain amount in a fixed period.

The catch is, knowing the “fixed period” is very tricky.

Make sure you know the period for meeting the minimum spending criteria to get the rewards.

It is advisable to ask the credit card company about it. The company will tell you in detail and also inform you regarding the spending progress you have made for the sign-up bonus.

Lastly, the cards with good sign-up bonuses usually come with annual fees.

Don’t assume that the annual fees will count as your spending; only your purchases count. Card related charges and fees are excluded from the spending goal. However, be aware of credit card debt. Don’t purchase things that you can’t afford; otherwise, the credit card debt trap is waiting for your grand entry.

By carol on May 12th, 2017

How to pursue a good credit card behavior and fulfill financial goals

How to pursue a good credit card behavior and fulfill financial goals

Credit cards are both beneficial and harmful in our modern finance world. You can free yourself from the need for cash, use it to build a good credit score, and buy anything/anywhere easily. But you must know that credit cards can easily accumulate huge debts and harm your credit score.

Getting your first or a new credit card is easy, but to maintain that card you’ll need intelligence, deep insight, and planning. If you become careful, you may fulfill your big financial goals through good credit card behaviors.

Here are some:

1. Using online banking facility

Today most of the banks offer online banking facility. So, you must also register your credit card for online use. By doing so, you can check your account activity anytime and can also track your spending. This is a better option than having your monthly statements, as we often forget our expenses. Checking accounts online will help you to monitor your spending and keep your finances under budget. Moreover, banks also develop apps that let consumers check accounts and pay credit card bills by using smart phones from anywhere.

2. Setting notifications or reminders

Being a responsible credit card user, you must update yourself about spending and payment history. If possible for you, pay off your credit card bills on the day you receive it. If it’s not possible, try to set a reminder on your smartphone or PC calendar regarding your credit card payment dates. This way you can get SMS’s or other notifications and pay your credit card bill on time.

3. Making small activities

It is wise to use cash rather than credit cards. But you also need to keep in mind that by using credit cards, you are actually boosting your credit score. So, you must use your active credit cards at least once in a month. Using those high-end cards will boost your score and you’ll be benefited from the purchases you make.

4. Paying up in full

The best way to handle your credit card is paying in full or as much as possible for you. This helps you to pay off the total bill every month without incurring any penalty.

But, this particular credit card behavior is not suitable for everyone. Not everyone can empty their wallet and put all the money towards credit card bill, at least not in every month.

Through this behavior you can keep your credit debts minimum along with winning more good credit points. You may also be eligible for future lower interest rates from other lenders and credit card companies.

Remember, your credit card is designed to help you buy anytime, anywhere without paying a single dollar in cash.

5. Negotiating other charges

After considering its rate of interest, you must decide if you want to keep a credit card with you or just depend upon cash. Interest rates may vary according to different card providers and different cards, but usually they are negotiable.

As early as you can build an outstanding payment history (with full and on time payments), you can start negotiating with your credit card provider for reducing your annual fees and other charges.

6. Not closing old cards

Cutting up old or extra credit cards might look like a wise decision to prevent yourself from accumulating more debt. But, do you have any idea that this could damage your credit score in other ways?

Closing an older credit account will reduce your credit history and harm your credit score deeply. The length of your overall credit history makes up 15% of your credit rating. Closing an older card will simply shorten the history associated with your score and negatively affect it.

So, if you really want to close some credit accounts, it’s smarter to remove newer cards rather than older ones.

Read more:

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?
Credit card lost or stolen – What should you do in such a situation?
How to manage your credit cards in 2017

By carol on April 28th, 2017

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?

Now, for many of you, rampant usage of credit cards has become a way of life. Many of you now prefer to carry plastic money instead of liquid cash. Though some of you use credit cards wisely, it is also seen that many people use credit cards instinctively.

If you don’t pay much attention while using credit cards, you may find yourself falling into a financial problem. This puts financial as well as mental stress on you.

To avoid such stress, you should be aware of some common credit card mistakes that you often commit.

Read carefully:

1. Using credit cards for buying necessary items

You should follow a realistic budget. It is foolish to purchase necessary items by using a credit card.

Random usage of credit cards and piling credit card bills may cause credit card debt.

If you are not able to pay off your credit card bills on time, then you will incur interest on that purchase. Remember, credit cards should be used only to meet the expenses of some unintended contingencies.

2. Keeping too many credit cards

One of the common financial blunders that you often commit is keeping too many credit cards. Holding too many credit cards is not a good sign. This may provoke you to use credit cards for unnecessary purposes. You may get into a credit card debt trap shortly.

3. Making late payments

Making late payments on your outstanding debts is indeed a very big mistake that you commit quite often. In this case, you need to make late payment charges. Also, it has serious negative implications. It adversely affects your credit report and damages your credit score badly. This, in turn, jeopardize your prospects of getting better terms for future loans.

4. Using credit cards for paying medical bills

Medical costs are huge in the country. If you indeed face difficulty in paying your medical bills, you can negotiate with the hospital whom you owe money. But it is recommended that you should not use credit cards to pay your medical bills.

5. Ignoring monthly statement

Take the credit card statement seriously. The statement shows you whether or not the charges documented are correct. So, you can check whether or not there is any mistake. Moreover, in this era of increasing identity theft, what you need to do is to check the statement minutely. And the sooner you do it, the better it is for you.

Checking the credit card statement helps you to know whether or not you have exceeded the credit limit as well.

6. Taking out cash advances

This is a very costly thing that you frequently do with a credit card. The fees associated with cash advances are very steep and the rate of interest is also very high.

Don’t take out cash advances with a credit card, unless and until there is an absolute emergency.

Lastly, using a credit card is not bad. If the credit cards are used responsibly and sensibly, they can do a lot of good to you.

By carol on April 14th, 2017

4 Ways to turn unwanted gift cards into cash

4 Ways to turn unwanted gift cards into cash

Often people receive gift cards that they know they are not going to use. Why so? One of the common reasons is the gift card they get for a store at which they never shop. Maybe the shop location is too far from their way or too expensive.

The result is, piles of unused gift cards in your chest of drawers, which is a waste of money.

But why will you waste gift cards that you got from your dear or near ones when there are options to get value for them?

What will you do?

Sell unwanted gift cards for some cash – No more wasting that $25 or $30 gift cards that you received from your aunt or grandma.

You can get cashback of 60% to 90% depending on where you sell the cards.

Easy ways you can turn gift cards into cash

1. Find out online gift card resellers

These days, a number of online gift card resellers come with the cash offer for unwanted gift cards. Generally, a gift card’s balance should be at least $20. You need to mail the card or submit the gift card’s code electronically to get the payment.

You can sell gift cards at cardpool.com, giftcardgranny.com, cardcash.com, giftcardzen.com etc.

Online auctions, classified ads, or social media platforms are also good places to sell your gift cards. However, be aware of fraud activities while selling gift cards online.

2. Visit mall kiosks

Visit a kiosk at your local mall to sell your cards. You can get at least 75% of the card’s value. You will get immediate cash, which is the best part of selling gifts cards at kiosks.

3. Access your favorite grocery store

Now, many grocery stores keep an automated gift card buying machine. You can sell your gift cards using that machine.

Follow these steps:

  1. Insert the card
  2. Accept the offer
  3. Collect the voucher
  4. Handover the voucher to the cashier for cash

4. Consider Coinstar exchange

You can get cash for your unused gift cards at Coinstar. Insert your gift card in the yellow colored Coinstar exchange machine to know how much money you will get.

Coinstar gives up to 85% of the value of the card.

Submit the receipt at the counter of the store to get the cash.

Things to know to turn the gift cards into cash

Turning gift cards into cash may sound simple, but you have to be extra watchful when dealing it with.

You need to show identity proof

You need to be prepared to show identification including a phone number, driver license/state ID card, credit card and an email address in the process of turning gift cards into cash.

Research well before you proceed

All gift cards buying websites are different when it comes to price and payment policy.

Some companies offer a good price but don’t give immediate cash. On the other hand, some companies offer 50%-70% gift card value but give you instant cash.

So, it is advisable to read customers review and research before selling gift cards online.

Finally, before selling gift cards online to any company, check out the merchant’s website carefully. Make sure the merchant have clear contact information.

Reliability and reachability and good customer services are the benchmarks of a good online company.

By carol on March 31st, 2017

Is it difficult for millennials to overcome subprime credit?

Is it difficult for millennials to overcome subprime credit?

The lenders categorize the credit scores into several segments, which denote how risky it’d be to approve credit to an individual. Apart from loan or credit approvals, credit scores can also affect lending terms, such as applicable interest rates. The higher a person’s credit score, the lower his/her quoted APR will typically be.

Credit scores can be categorized in the following divisions:

  • 720 or more: Excellent
  • 660 – 719: Average/Fair (Prime)
  • 620 – 659: Poor (Near Prime)
  • 620 or lower: Bad (Subprime)

As per a report released by the Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED), the majority of the population or 56% of the consumers have subprime credit scores. In general, younger Americans are more likely to have “subprime credit” (as described by TransUnion). There are few factors like age, spending habits and others that make the young people deprived from good credit score.

Let’s check out why millennials have subprime credit:

1. Credit utilization

One big reason is that millennials use too much of their available credit. As per the TransUnion it is nearly 79%. Credit utilization plays a major role in credit scoring. So, if a person who earns $1000 in a month and pays off $790 in debt, his debt-to-income ratio will be quite high. As a result his credit score will fall through time.

2. Credit history

Having a long credit history is very important. It is one of the deciding factors in credit scores – the older the credit history you have, the more it’ll provide benefits to you. As millennials are the young generation, most of them lacks of long credit history.

3. Credit mix

Consumers have two types of debt, a) revolving and b) installment. Revolving debts consists of debts with variable payments per month, like – credit card debts. Installment debts consists of fixed installments like mortgage or car loan. Millennials have to maintain a good credit mix and divide their debts in different types. If they don’t, it’ll affect their credit score badly.

How millennials can build their credit score again

So if you’re a millennial with subprime credit, there are few things you need to do to improve your credit score again:

a. Lower your credit utilization

Use less of your available credit (try to maintain the max credit utilization ratio of 30% or less).

b. Make on-time payments

Make payments on time and if possible in full. It’ll keep away negative items from your credit report.

c. Maintain credit accounts for a long time

The older you maintain your accounts, the more they’ll help you to improve credit score. Keep your accounts open even if you don’t use them often. Trust me, it’ll be beneficial.

e. Diversify your debts

Spread your debt across revolving and installment debt accounts.

f. Get help from other parties

If you are facing credit issues, you don’t have to tackle it alone. You can ask help from professional agencies who can manage your accounts, review your credit, settle issues with the credit bureaus and lenders.

g. Get rent payments reported to credit bureaus

By this way the credit bureaus will be informed about your regular rent payments. As a result, it may help your credit score to grow.

Millennial credit scores are affected because of bad financial habits, age, and short credit history. However, through smart credit habits, millennials can manage their financial issues and take control of their credit. It’s not easy to pull ourselves up from the subprime credit level, but if we work wisely and understand all the possible actions, we can build a great credit score through time.

Read more:
How to manage your credit cards in 2017
7 ways to improve credit score while having burden of debt on your back

By carol on March 17th, 2017