Credit cards are everywhere nowadays. They are more common than cash. However, the interest rates can be a huge weight for any budget if they are too high. As a smart consumer, you should try to obtain the credit cards with the lowest interest rate you can find.
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When shopping around for a credit card, take your time and try to do some comparisons. Not all cards have the same interest rates. Beware of those that guarantee approval. There are several ways to search for credit cards that can offer you a good interest rate.
Most Common Credit Cards
If you have any type of checking or savings account, you may want to inquire about applying for a credit card through the bank. Customers can receive special offers and lower interest rates due to having good standing with the bank.
Credit unions sometimes offer their customers credit cards with interest rates as low as 8%. If you have a good banking history, you may qualify.
A quick search of the internet shows that Visa seems to be offering the lowest interest rates currently between 7 – 22% APR. But do not assume that you will be approved at the lowest rate. The interest rate that is offered to you is based on your credit score.
Some credit cards have a standing promotional offer that never expires. CareCredit is one that says if you pay off your entire balance within a preset period, they will not charge any interest. If you carry a balance after that expiration date, all of the interest that has been accruing during that time will subject to payment and will continue to accrue until it is paid in full.
Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards, among others, are always running some sort of promotional offer. They offer an introductory rate of 0% APR anywhere in the first six to eighteen months on purchases and balance transfers. Of course, there are processing fees associated with each transfer that you in which you should be aware. Be sure to remember that after that introductory timeline expires, the rates could skyrocket.
Difference between In-Store and Regular Credit Cards
Not everyone can get approved for a Visa. Department stores know this. By providing an in-store credit card to you, they are providing a limited line of credit to you that can only be used in that particular store. These cards often have higher interest rates, but using them wisely could help to establish a good credit history.
Get the Lowest Interest Rate
Shop around. Take the initiative and a little bit of time to do your homework. There are many ways to find credit cards with low interest rates. You could do an online search or call the credit card issuer directly and speak with a customer service representative. Check with your bank. If you have a good history with them, they could possibly offer you a lower interest rate than you would find elsewhere.
Be on the lookout for credit card issuers when they are offering special promotions. You could really benefit from this. The credit card issuers sometimes offer 0% interest on all purchases made in the next months. So, if you are approved for a card with a 29% interest rate, it will not hurt you.
Just make your purchases and pay off the balance in full before the end of the six-month promotional period, and you can escape having to pay any interest.
Once you have established a good payment history, you can always take a few minutes and call your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate. The worst that could happen is that they tell you no. However, you will never know if you do not call.
Interest Rates Can Hurt Your Credit Score
Your interest rate and your credit score go hand in hand. According to the Federal Trade Commission, every consumer is entitled to a free credit report per year from the major consumer reporting agencies which are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of these companies is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide a free copy of your report upon request once a year.
Let us help you search through the credit card maze to find the interest rate that you can afford!
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