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What should you do if you have credit card debt

Yesterday I read some worrying news that credit card spending is still increasing dispite the past 12 months warning we’ve had in the form of the credit crunch.

UK consumers are using credit cards as means of day to day living, so using their credit cards every month just to ‘get by’ with the increased cost of living. Unfortunately the Bank of England has announced they expect inflation to continue rising in the UK and expect it to hit 5.5 per cent before the end of 2008. This level of inflation has not been experienced in the UK for well over 20 years.

Unfortunately people will continue to struggle to make their finances stretch and it looks as though people are already turning to credit cards as a means of survival.

If you already have credit card debt the best immediate action you can take is to transfer the balance onto a 0 per cent balance transfer deal. There are plenty of cards on offer and I’ve described 4 of the better cards on offer in the UK on my blog yesterday; thefinancialblog.co.uk One thing to consider is the balanace transfer fee the credit card provider will charge you. This is a set charge, usually a percentage of the total ammount you wish to transfer. For example, if you transfer 5,000 to another credit card the provider usually charges from 2.98 per cent to 3.5 per cent, so you will be charged from 149 to 175. The balance transfer fees vary from provider to provider so make sure you find out exactly how much you will be charged.

The benefit of transferring a balance to one of these credit cards is that the provider offers you 0 per cent interest for a specified time period. The longest 0 per cent deal in the UK today is 15 months. So you have well over a year of no interst, of course you still have to pay the monthly minimum ammount, but interest on a balance of around 5,000 can be as much as 20 or more.

If you are really struggling to clear your credit card debt and, as many people do, you’re using one credit card to pay off another, then now is the time to seek professional debt management advice. If you are unsure where to start looking for good, free debt advice then contact your local citizens advice bureaux; details of which can be found online or in your Yellow Pages. Take action today.

Virginia writes for the Virgin credit card. Thevirgincreditcard.co.uk is still one of the best UK credit cards and offers 0% on balance transfers. The Virgin credit card could be the perfect solution if you have other credit card balances to transfer. Get 0% on balance transfers for 20 months! With the Virgin credit card, you could get an instant decision today!

4

Chase Credit Card Application Status

In todays world, there’s no doubt about how important to people the credit card has become over recent years. Providing you can manage your debts; is there anything wrong with using your credit card to have what you want right now.
One of the most popular brand names of credit cards in the market today is the Chase credit card. Accepted around the world, the Chase credit card is similar to many others. Aside from Chase credit card, the company also offers travel cards, Auto & Gas cards and student cards.
So there are a number of reasons to have a Chase credit card all of which will be of great benefit to the user over time. Probably the most used feature is its online capabilities used by workers and other people that have little time to go out shopping. Using the web site, secure of course means that managing your finances is only a few mouse clicks away.
For some people, the ease with which they can go online to manage their account is the only excuse they need to own a Chase credit card. If you are looking to save money then Chase offers waived membership fees along with other introductory deals including low APR’s.
There is more than one type of Chase credit card and loyal customers can expect to be rewarded when they use the card. For those that don’t fly but still want rewards then they can have a version of the Chase card that will award you points when you spend any money. These points will then enable you to purchase from a Chase credit card catalogue and they will have your chosen item shipped to right next to your doorstep! There are holidays, plus other well sought after rewards and all at no charge to you.
Chase credit cards know that if they look after their customers they won’t lose them; a philosophy that many companies could learn from. Well all like our gifts but knowing that no matter where you are or what you are doing there is someone to talk to if you need them can often mean much more than material goods. You will really appreciate this if you are abroad and your card is lost or stolen because a new card will need to be sent to you as soon as possible.
If you are thinking about transferring your balance then this is the way to do it with a guaranteed six month zero percent interest rate which also incorporates current purchase balances as well. A no annual charge policy and if you pay your bill in full, there will not be any other interest charges to pay. Having a Chase credit card also allows the holder to earn cash rewards on purchases. If you are considering transferring your account or balance, it is easy over the internet with the secure server.

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Abn Amro Prepaid Credit Cards

There are various kinds of credit cards available in the market at present. Prepaid credit cards are getting more and more popular now days. However, many people do not have any knowledge about prepaid credit cards. A prepaid credit card is allotted to a customer by a bank when he deposits a certain amount of money in his prepaid credit card account. An individual can use this card at all the place where he can use a normal credit card. However, in case of these cards, one cannot spend more money than he has in his credit card account.

It means that these cards have no risk of spending more than what you have. These cards work on the same principle, on which debit cards works. As you can spend only that much money which is deposited in to your account, there is nothing like interest charges associated with these cards. There are a number of banks available in the markets, which are offering such cards to their customers.

ABN AMRO bank is famous for offering various types of credit cards to a large number of customers. It offers credit cards to its customers according to their requirements and profile. ABN AMRO credit cards can be used at a large number of places. The prepaid credit cards offered by this bank are used by various people. These cards offer a lot of benefits to the customers. For instance, parents can give these cards to their children. Most of the parents hesitate to give regular credit cards to their children because they may spend a lot of amount through them. The procedure for getting an ABN AMRO prepaid credit card is very simple. You just need to contact your nearby branch of ABN AMRO Bank and after the completion of a few formalities; you will get your prepaid credit card.

1

The Advantages Of Credit Card Merchant Processing

For anyone who owns an online store, they know how difficult it can be to process credit cards and avoid high fees associated with having this type of account. One of the major issues that online business owners have to deal with is the fact that they need to pay into high fees just to be able to get paid for an item that one of their customers has purchased. This is just one of those things that can really put a damper on any type of business and cause it to fail because it is not making the money that it should.

One of the best things any online business owner can do is to make use of credit card merchant processing and to open a merchant account. Merchant accounts allow people to process their credit cards so that a business owner knows they are getting a valid payment and that the card being used by the customer has the money on it for them to afford the item. The business owner will not have to worry that the items are being purchased using a fake card and the owner also doesn’t have to pay into very high fees just to have that card processed for them.

The best thing for any online business owner to do is to consider credit card merchant processing for themselves and to open a merchant account that has good fees. The first step is to look around for a merchant account that is a good fit for the needs of a business owner. The interest fees and processing fees should be low so that it is a lot easier to afford in the long run. Once the account has been opened, it can be integrated into the actual website so that it will be used any time a person tries to purchase something.

While many business owners do not know what credit card merchant processing and what this type of account can do for them, many other owners have found that their merchant accounts have helped to save them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The best thing to do is to consider opening an account like this that has good interest and processing fees that are incredibly easy to afford. From there, customers will only be able to use valid credit cards that have been verified before the purchase is able to go through on the Internet. This is one step that all business owners should take for themselves simply because of how beneficial it is for them to verify the accounts and cards before they ship out the items that have been purchased.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Cash Back Credit Card

The offers to make money as you spend money are quite enticing to the modern consumer. With a cash back credit card, you can earn percentages that can reap rewards at the end of the year. So to choose the best cash back credit card for you, here are some questions that you will want to ask.

1. What counts toward the cash back?

While it might seem that any purchase or addition to the overall cash back credit card balance would reap rewards, this is not generally the case. Many times, balance transfers and cash advances do not contribute to the percentage back. If you think that you will be using the cash back credit card for those purposes, youll want to see if you will be rewarded or not.

2. How much cash back are you receiving?

Of course, if youre looking for a cash back credit card, youll want to choose the one with the highest amount of percentage that you can get back. And the cards vary widely in this respect. Look at several cash back credit card companies to see if one seems particularly high.

3. Can you increase your cash back?

Besides increasing the overall balance and contributing to the cash back, some cash back credit card companies also encourage customers to frequent certain retailers to get a larger cash back amount. If you already go to these establishments, these cash back credit card companies might work out better for you.

4. How can you redeem the cash back?

When youre using a cash back credit card, you want to be able to get your rewards as frequently as possible. There used to be a time when you had to wait until the end of a twelve month cycle to receive the benefits, but it has changed. Some companies are now allowing customers to redeem their cash back as payments against their balance or to contribute to a charity as frequently as certain amounts are accrued.

5. What are the fees?

As with all credit cards, youll want to be sure that the cash back credit card you sign up for doesnt charge a large fee that actually upsets any rewards that you might be receiving. Try to find a cash back credit card that doesnt make you pay for your cash back.

With a cash back credit card, you can earn a little money as you spend for things that you already need.

5

Credit Card Debt Settlement

Credit card debts are like a financial black hole which can rob your good night sleep. So first we need to know how to destroy or do away credit card debts. If you are one of those who use their credit cards at every other place, then you are most likely to face huge credit card debts in future which can also lead to bankruptcy.

After using your credit card you are sure to pile up a lot of credit card debts. Now if you are unable to clear all your debts you have 2 options in front of you. They are bankruptcy or debt settlement. In debt settlement process you can negotiate with your creditors for settling at a lower amount. Here the amount which you will pay after negotiating with your creditors will be about 40-60% of the original debt you owed to them. In short you will save a lot of money from this.

Basically, you have two options. In the first case you can go ahead on your own and start the negotiation process with your creditors and settle for a lower payment. In this case you need to keep a few things in mind. It is always better to talk to your creditors in person rather than over phone. Put down the final deal on paper as you might need to produce this as a piece of documental proof later on. While sending mail communications always use registered post as this is always a safer option. Maintain the details of the people you are talking to and never show your eagerness to settle down quickly as this may go against your case.

The other option is approaching a debt settlement company. Debt settlement company will basically negotiate on your behalf with your creditors to settle for a much lower debt repayment. They will charge a certain percentage of your debt as their fees. In this case your burden comes down a lot as the company will take care of the things from your side.

The timeline of solving a case can vary from a couple of months to a few years. If you are very eager to solve your case quickly it can be done in 3-9 months of time period. In very exceptional cases the time period can stretch from 1 to 4 years. But most of the cases get solved within a years time. So its always better to start thinking of Debt Settlement early so that you dont have to face bankruptcy situation in future.

4

Save Money Do Not Borrow it on your Credit Card

Lets face it we have all been in a position where we have needed a little hard cash depending on if it is at the end of the month or a unforeseen bill that needs paying straight away. However before you go off down to the ATM and take that cash out on your credit card, lets just take a look at the reasons why you should be careful before borrowing from the credit card company.

Firstly every time you take money out of the ATM the fee for that money comes into play immediately. The cash advance that you are thinking about can have between 2 and 4 percent Higher interest rate than your regular credit card rates.

Not only will you be charged by the credit card company for borrowing the cash you will also find that you are charged a percentage by the ATM vendor. Those handy little ATM’s in the gas station can charge up to 1% to give you the cash! That is an extra 1% you have to pay to get that money.

Confused? Ok let us take a quick look at how this all works:

You see on a market stall a fantastic stereo that you have wanted for ages. The vendor being a street trader would prefer it if you pay in cash (lets face it if you use your card there he gets charged for the fact that he is using the credit card companies facilities). You decide you must have it so you go to the ATM and draw out $200 on your credit card.

This cash will be the last thing that your credit card company lets you pay off the card. So if you have $500 on your card and you take a further $500 out at the higher rate of interest as it is cash, you will pay that rate of interest until you reach zero balance even if you pay off $500 the next day! So you will still end up paying over the odds to borrow that money.

Eventually when you hit the zero balance you will notice that you have over the time that you borrowed the money been charged three times. Once by the ATM where you got the money from. Once by the credit card company for taking the cash option and once more by the credit card company who will charge you a higher rate of interest for the privilege of having cash in your hand.

Is it really worth it to get something a few days early?

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The Best Secured Credit Card Five Things To Look For

If you’re looking for the best secured credit card, you’re not alone. Too many consumers have applied for a secured credit card only to find out too late just how bad the card really was. Do yourself a favor and forgo the whole trial-and-error approach. Use these five tips to find the best secured credit card available.

1. Acceptable Fees

Almost every secured credit card in existence has its associated fees. That doesn’t, however, mean that you should have to pay an arm and a leg to open a secured credit card account.

The best secured credit card will offer an acceptable fee schedule. While the fees associated with a secured credit card vary from company to company, you should never pay more than $50 or $60 in total annual fees.

Avoid applying for a secured credit card that breaks their total annual fees into multiple charges. Some credit card companies charge an annual fee, a monthly maintenance fee, a processing fee and an application fee. The best secured credit card will charge an annual fee and perhaps a low processing fee — nothing more.

2. A Good Deposit/Credit Limit Ratio

The best secured credit card will extend you a line of credit equal to 100-percent of your security deposit. Your security deposit is intended to guarantee your line of credit. If you place $300 in the deposit account, you should have a credit limit of $300.

Some secured credit card companies only grant you a credit line of 50-percent of the amount you put on deposit. This isn’t acceptable.

3. The Interest Is Yours

When you open up a secured credit card your deposit money is put in an account. Who gets to keep the interest earned on that deposit?

When looking for the best secured credit card, make sure that the card you apply for gives you the interest earned on your security deposit. The credit card company should make their money on the interest charged to the card, not the interest earned from your deposit.

4. Rewards For Good Behavior

The best secured credit card will reward you for good behavior. Before applying for a card, check to see what they offer in regards to credit limit increases and transitioning from a secured card to an unsecured card.

5. The Reporting Factor

Of course, one of the main purposes of a secured credit card is to rebuild your credit. The best secured credit card will report your monthly account activity to the three credit bureaus. Don’t waste your time with credit card companies that don’t.

Everyone knows that there can be huge differences between one credit card and the next. These differences can be even greater when dealing with secured credit cards. If you want to make sure that you’re only applying for the best secured credit card possible, check to see if the credit card follows the five guidelines above.

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Balance Transfer Credit Cards Aim To Minimize Revolving Debts

For a credit based economy like ours, credit cards are nothing short of a lifeline. After all, people do not mind buying in a “purchase today pay tomorrow” format. Credit cards give us a reason to smile but a reason to be sad too. If you use them judiciously, they can ease your liquidity burden a lot. On the other hand, if you use them carelessly, they can increase your revolving debts and throw you into a debt trap. Apart from using credit cards prudently, it is also important to choose them with care.

Zero APR cards and balance transfer credit cards are often believed to be the best. They offer great introductory rates, minimum processing fee and surcharges, and levy lenient late fees if you make your payments late. Balance transfer credit cards allow you to shift all your outstanding balances from other card companies to the new company.

Balance transfers can boost your morale a great deal. This is because they allow you to put all your separate loans into one loan. When the number of debts decreases, a person feels at greater ease. Also, most of the balance transfer credit cards offer an interest free period. If by some means, you can pay the amount within the specified period, the credit card companies do not charge you anything. This is not all; you get loyalty bonuses to retain their services too.

In short, these are advertising techniques to draw the attention of consumers. However, they do not aim to fleece the consumer but help him in his tough financial hours. In general, your new credit card company will benefit you the most by helping you pay off high interest loans, rather than giving you the opportunity to take out new cash advances. Thus, one can conclude that those consumers who do not take cash loans from their cards are likely to benefit most from such cards.

Credit card companies throw a lot of incentives at consumers to attract their attention. An introductory low rate is one such incentive. It allows a consumer to save money, as he does not need to pay the interest amount that he would otherwise have paid. If he can clear the principal balance on his purchases within the specified period of time (clearly mentioned in the introductory plan), the companies do not ask him for any extra amount.

If one remembers the exact expiration dates of the introductory rates, he can keep jumping from one to another to make interest free purchases. A consumer can also choose to put the amount in his savings account and earn interest on the money. He can do a fair bit of saving this way if he pays attention to the introductory rates.

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Why a Prepaid Debit Card and Not a Credit Card

Prepaid debit cards are a good alternative to credit cards for anyone who is trying to control their spending. A prepaid debit card allows a consumer to deposit their money into a virtual account that can be accessed through a debit card. Once the funds are depleted, the consumer cannot spend anymore.

Unlike a credit card, a prepaid debit card does not allow a consumer to spend money he or she doesnt have. This prevents the consumer from racking up debt that he or she cannot pay off. Additionally, there is no interest charged on a prepaid card, and no bills to pay at the end of the month.

All these make the prepaid debit card a more responsible tool for budgeting and spending money, at least compared to a credit card.

In addition to controlling spending, many people like to use prepaid debit cards to send money abroad or give a gift to a relative or friend. Since these cards are easy to load and mail, they are ideal for people who need to send money abroad. In fact, they are safer than sending cash or checks through the mail, since many cards are able to be re-issued if the proper paperwork is kept. These debit cards can be used in many countries. A Visa debit card is particularly convenient since it can be used at thousands of stores and restaurants that also accept a Visa credit card.

Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not charge interest, but there are a few fees involved with using them. Just like a checking account at the bank, most prepaid cards will charge a maintenance fee once a month, as well as a small transaction fee when the card is used. Prepaid cards such as a Visa debit card do this in order to recoup their costs for issuing the cards and transferring the money from the card to the merchant or to other accounts. However, these payment and transfer fees are very low compared to those charged by banks for similar transactions.

All in all, prepaid debit cards are a great way to control spending through the holiday season, an excellent alternative to a high fee checking account, and an inexpensive way to transfer money to relatives and friends abroad.