The easiest way to get good credit card interest rates or credit card APRs is to build a good credit score. If you have a high FICO score, you will have a plethora of credit cards in which to choose.
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A good FICO score will also help you get additional perks such as generous reward points, low balance transfer fees, and low cash advance fees. Therefore, it is very important to build and secure your credit history.
The Important Steps: Building Your Fico Score
In a recent story, MSN Money found that 49 million Americans saw a 20-point rise in their FICO scores between April 2010 and April 2011. At the same time, CNN Money reported that credit card interest rates soared in 2010-2011, with an average rate of 14.26%.
In other words, if you want to get good credit card rates, be prepared to produce high FICO scores. Experts suggest the following steps towards higher credit scores and lower credit card interest rates:
- Learn about credit card scores and how they are calculated. There are plenty of resources available on the Internet that will help you attain financial literacy, from government websites such as MyMoney.gov, to blogs of established money gurus.
- Find out what your FICO scores are. Under Federal Law, you are allowed to get free credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies once a year. Check your credit report to make sure there are no mistakes. Erroneous entries such as non-payment when you have met your obligation can make a huge dent in your scores.
- The most obvious suggestion is to pay off your balance every month, on time. This will be strongly reflected in your credit scores.
- Try to keep your credit card balance below 30% of your credit limit.
Alternative Path to Good Credit Card Rates
Whether you have excellent credit rating, are in the process of repairing it, or are new to the credit card market, there are some strategic decisions you can make that will help you get the best possible rates. Financial experts always focus on the importance of credit scores.
Besides building or rebuilding your scores, there are other steps you can take to lower your credit card interest rates.
Use the Internet to find out what credit card interest rates are available for your particular score. Additionally, check all other factors such as reward points, fees, etc. to get an idea about the best complete credit package that should be available to you.
Talk to your credit card company or banking institution. Explain the situation to them and ask them for viable options. Always remember to get every offer that is discussed and agreed upon, in writing.
If you have no credit history or poor credit scores, talk to your bank or credit card company about getting a secured credit card. This credit card account is activated by making a deposit with the lending agency. This deposit becomes your credit limit. Making timely payments in full every month will help raise your credit score and help you secure generous credit card interest rates in the future.
Another way to get good credit rates is to opt for low introductory rate credit cards. These cards come with teaser rates that last for a minimum of six months. If you are seeking means to reduce accumulated debt on a high interest credit card, this might be the answer to your problem.
Finding Good Credit Card Rates
As the economy appears to recover from a scary recession, an article in Forbes reported that banks are showing signs of confidence, and are sending out higher numbers of credit card offers with attractive rewards and incentives such as low interest rates, among others.
Indeed, they found that direct mailings from credit card companies offering attractive credit cards has soared by 103% between 2010 and 2011.
So if you are looking to get a low interest credit card or a 0% balance transfer credit card, you might be able to score a bargain. Invest some time in research and prepare yourself before you talk to your lending company so that you can negotiate the best terms and conditions possible.
If you are in the market for a credit card with a good rate, use our FREE credit card finder and be surprised by the interest rates we can find!