Finance

How to get 0% interest on your credit card debt

Telling reporters that many people have gotten “trapped” because of the economic downturn that has turned family budgets on their heads, President Obama recently signed into law new rules to regulate the practices of credit card companies.

Consumers will now have to receive 45 days' notice and an explanation before their interest rates increase. Obama went on to criticize confusing fine print; unannounced shifts in interest rates even when payments aren't late; and payments directed to balances with the lowest interest rates rather than the highest.

Clearly, in the past few years it has been far too easy for the average consumer to build up a mound of credit card debt and then have extreme difficulty digging out from underneath.

Now, more than ever, the best thing many people can do to immediately lift the burden of too much credit card debt is to transfer their credit card balance to a card with 0% APR.

By transferring the balance of your debt from your current credit card to a new interest-free card, you can give yourself time (usually anywhere from 6 months to a year) where no interest is added to your principle. This allows all the money you make in payments each month to be poured directly into paying down your balance, shrinking the amount you owe much faster. This can greatly benefit your credit score and credit-to-debt ratio, both of which can make you much more attractive to lenders.

There are some things to consider before transferring your balance to a new card:

  • 1. Always take into account the length of the 0% APR period.
  • 2. Be sure you are able to pay off your balance within this introductory period, otherwise high interest rates often kick in when the period ends.
  • 3. Make a payment schedule and set aside money each month to pay towards your balance.
  • 4. Also, be aware of transfer fees that may be charged by the credit card companies. These can come as unexpected surprises and throw off the payment plan you have created.

Another factor to consider is whether or not the 0% APR offer applied to purchases as well as payments. If interest is charged for your purchases on the transfer card, this can leave you with lingering debt even after your principle is paid off. If interest is charged for your purchases try and limit use of the card to emergencies only to avoid this occurrence. Also, be sure and compare the rewards programs offered by a card, as these will be available to you once you have paid off your balance. Pick a card that rewards you the way you want in the future.

A 0% Balance Transfer can be a great way to get out from under a seemingly insurmountable pile of debt and greatly improve your credit score and spending power at the same time.

With Congress and the White House cracking down on bad practices of credit card companies – now may be the time for you to take advantage of this clever money saving tactic.

Click on the links below for some great 0% APR credit card offers:

Finance

5 Things You Should Know About Your Credit Score

By now most people are aware of the importance of their credit score and the huge financial costs and hassles that a bad score can cause.

However, there’re still many misconceptions regarding credit scores. We spoke to one of the premier credit reporting services, GoFreeCredit.com about the most common mistaken beliefs that people have:

Checking my credit score can hurt my score

You may have heard that the very act of checking a credit score can have a negative impact on your score.  Its true – completing a credit application can actually reduce your score by 10 points each time.  However, using a service such as GoFreeCredit allows you to access your credit ratings without affecting your score.

I checked my score and everything looked good – so I am fine

You actually have three scores because there are actually three credit tracking agencies; Experian, Equifax and Transunion.  It’s possible that you have a different score with each, as any one of them may have received incorrect or detrimental information about you. You should always check all three of your credit scores as you never know which one your bank or credit card company will use.  Reputable services like GoFreeCredit.com will always check all three of your credit scores for you.

If I am a victim of ID theft, I will be notified by my bank or Credit Card Company

Unfortunately many victims of identity theft discover far too late that they are victims.  If a criminal uses your identity to take out a loan you may only find out when the creditor contacts you looking for re-payment.  However, regular monitoring of all your credit scores is a great way to immediately spot when someone is attempting to illegally use your identity so that you have a chance to stop the crime takes place.

 

My credit card company can’t cancel my card without warning

Unfortunately they can and increasing they do. More and more credit card companies are tightening their risk profiles and eliminating customers that deem too risky.  They often mail out a cancellation notice at the same time as they pull the card, leaving many consumers embarrassed to discover what has happened when they try to use the card at the register. Ensuring that any negatives on your account are corrected or removed will ensure this does not happen to you.

 

Checking and managing my credit ratings is a hassle

 

The good news is there is a quick and easy way to view your official credit report and credit score online instantly.  Start by visiting GoFreeCredit.com.  The site not only lets you see your free credit report and credit score, but also offers a free 3 bureau credit monitoring trial. The service helps you keep an eye on your credit and protect against identity theft with instant alerts of any changes to your credit report or score.

So you can just sit back and let them do the work. 

 

Finance

What Goes Into Your Credit Score – You May Be Shocked

Did you know that an unpaid library fine, parking ticket or medical bill may affect your credit score?  And, while you may not have checked your score lately- chances are someone else has. 

That 3 digit number (ranging between 300 to 850) has a huge impact on your life because banks and lending companies use it to determine how much money you can borrow and how much interest you will pay. 

Here's how your score is determined:

35 percent – your payment history:  Do you regularly pay your bills on time? If not, late payments may be reported and drive down your score. Definitely try to pay on time if you can.

30 percent – your available credit: You will have a better credit score if you only use 20% of your available credit lines rather than using 100%.   Don't max out your credit cards or your score may suffer.

15 percent – the length of your credit history: How long have you had each of your accounts?  It's better to have fewer accounts and to keep these accounts for longer (assuming you've made timely payments).

10 percent – recent activity:  What percentage of accounts and inquiries that have appeared on your report are recent as compared to the total number of accounts and inquiries.   Your score may drop if it looks like you just opened up many new accounts or if lots of companies recently made inquiries about your score. 

10 percent – types of credit you use:  Having installment debt – like a mortgage, shows that you can manage a large loan. How you handle revolving debt, such as credit cards, tends to be more important because it's more predictive of future behavior.

Once you know your number it's easy to start taking steps to improve your score. By checking your credit activity regularly you can improve your rating by managing any negative items that need to be removed or fixed.  

How to take charge of your credit score

People are often amazed by how often creditors report negative payment history that is incorrect or a result of misunderstandings.  These can often be cleared up but only if you take action.  Unless you check your score, you may never know that these detrimental items are affecting your score.

The easiest and fastest way to check your credit score is online.  There are many services that let you check your credit record free-of-charge.  One of the best and most reputable of these services is GoFreeCredit.com

GoFreeCredit.com actually offers much more than simple credit checking.  Their credit monitoring, automatic notification of credit activity and detailed personal analysis also helps you take charge and improve your credit score and save big on loan costs and interest rates.  

Best of all, GoFreeCredit.com offers a free trial of their service. You get to check your credit and see everything they offer without paying a dime.  Only if you decide to continue the service do you pay the low membership premium.   

Finance

You can Restore Your Credit Score

Emergencies and carelessness often cause our credit scores to go downhill. The lowering of our scores makes getting credit and loans difficult because lenders see you as a high risk for repaying the potential debt back to them.

You may still be extended the credit or loan, but at higher interest rates. There are ways to gain back the credit scores you deserve. Follow the steps below and you will be well on your way to restoring the strong credit score you need:

Obtain all three of your credit reports.  Don't try to get by with only one. You must get all three because each one can contain different data. Sometimes the credit card companies don't report to all three bureaus, so check and be sure all three have the same facts and figures. Go over each report very carefully.

Note any mistakes and report them to the bureau immediately.  Even the slightest mistake on your reports can cause you to have a lower score. Make sure all three reports have the same information as each other.

Work with your creditors.  Negotiate with the companies over the debt and get the debt paid off if possible. If they report that the debt owed to them has been paid in full, your credit reports will reflect that positive action and your credit score will be raised.

Make regular payments. If it's not possible to pay them all off, then pay as much as you can on a regular basis.  Make sure you're paying all of your bills on time. Late payments, especially recent ones, get on your reports and are negatively factored into your credit scores.

Don't apply for more debt until your old debt is paid off. The credit reports will reflect all of the debt that you owe, so the more debt that it shows, the lower your score will be  – until it's paid off.

Pay off all your old debt first.  Once debt is paid off, make sure that they're reported to the credit monitoring agencies.

Keep some old accounts open. Even when you pay off your credit cards, keep the accounts open at least on some of them. Closing all of the accounts reflects negatively on your score. Even if you don't intend on using those accounts again, it still looks better that the account is open and there's zero balance on it.

It also looks better if you charge very small amounts and then pay it off completely each month on time. It shows your ability to repay your debt.

Don't pay another company to take care of your credit repair unless you absolutely know that they come highly recommended.

It's best you do it yourself. Most of the companies that claim they can repair your credit instantly are scams that will take your money and do nothing for your credit. Work hard to keep it clean and pay off all your bills on time. You can bring a negative score to a more positive one with a little diligence in budgeting for your bills and maintaining a timely schedule.

 

Finance

How to Check Your Credit Without Hurting Your Score

Every day, we are bombarded by numbers, but some numbers matter a lot more than others. 

One of the most important numbers in your life should be your credit score–it effects how much you pay for many things including interest rates on credit cards, mortgages, car financing, and other loans. It can even affect your ability to rent an apartment, get a good job, or lease a car.  A small difference in your score can add up to thousands of dollars in extra, unnecessary expenses and huge hassles over time.

Your credit score is one number you definitely should know.

Once you know your number, it’s easy to start taking steps to improve your score. By checking your credit activity regularly, you can improve your rating by managing any negative items that need to be removed or fixed.  

People are also often amazed by the number of mistakes on their credit report.  Often, creditors will report negative payment history that is incorrect or a result of misunderstandings.  These can often be cleared up, but only if you take action.  Unless you check your score, you may never know that these detrimental items are affecting your score.

The easiest and fastest way to check your credit score is online.  There are many services that let you check your credit record free-of-charge.  GoFreeCredit is one of the best established and most reputable of these services.  You can try this service free to monitor all activity on your credit report and take action to increase your score.

You may have heard that the very act of checking a credit score can have a negative impact on your score.  It’s true–some methods actually reduce your score by 10 points for each check.  However, checking your credit score through GoFreeCredit.com will not have any negative effect on your score.

And, with GoFreeCredit.com, you also get credit monitoring, automatic notification of credit activity, and a detailed personal analysis.  

Often, people are shocked to find negative activity on their credit report.  Past 30-days late payments, collections, judgments, and bankruptcies are all factors that can negatively affect your credit score, and this service can help you address these and other issues that may have damaged your score.

Best of all, GoFreeCredit.com services are completely free to try, so you can see exactly what lenders see, plus a much more comprehensive picture of your credit history than a normal credit check can show you.

Improving you credit increases your options for financial success. By taking charge of your credit report, you can make sure negative incidences are dealt with quickly, and that you are not a victim of fraud and misunderstandings that can cost you thousands.

To sign up for your free unlimited access trial, visit GoFreeCredit and take charge of your financial future today.

Finance

New Program Can Make Most of Your Credit Card Debt Go Away

As Washington continues to spend billions bailing out banks and corporations, little is being done to help consumers drowning in credit card debt. Even the credit card bill of rights, recently passed by Congress, will do little to help consumers already being pressed to the brink. Credit card defaults are up 45 percent and consumer relief is a must.

Some people continue to make these minimum payments under the misconception that this will maintain or preserve their credit rating. The reality is credit card companies are now looking at a consumer’s total debt, not credit scores as the means to extend future credit. As an example many consumers who have never missed a payment are now having their cards reduced or canceled.

Many families now find themselves struggling to make their minimum payments every month, barely reducing their balances and feeling hopeless about ever getting out from under their debt. By some experts’ calculations, it will take many people over more than 30 years to pay off their credit cards if they only make minimum payments.

Bankruptcy is not a good option

When you declare bankruptcy your credit rating takes a major hit, making it hard for you to get credit in the future. You may also end up paying more for things like car insurance and other services that take your credit score into account when determining your coverage costs. In addition, some employers will not hire a job applicant with a bankruptcy on record, increasing the financial hardship caused by debt.

Little-known programs do exist to help consumers slash their debt

One company, Preferred Financial Services, offers consumers an alternative to filing bankruptcy by helping consumers settle their debts with creditors. The company’s success is due to its substantial industry experience, as well as longstanding relationships with creditors.

Unlike nonprofit credit counseling companies, who work for the creditors, Preferred Financial Services works on behalf of people who are burdened by their unsecured debts (debts not linked to property that could be repossessed). The key difference is that nonprofit companies work to find a figure that creditors are happy with, while Preferred Financial Services works to secure a settlement that has the consumer’s best interest in mind. In fact, clients of Preferred Financial Services get out of debt and restore their good credit faster than credit counseling or bankruptcy.

Keep more cash in your hand within 24 hours while saving more than 50 percent

Preferred Financial Services has helped thousands of people settle their outstanding debts by negotiating lower payoffs with creditors. Although individual results can vary, you can expect to save at least 50 percent, sometimes more. Essentially, Preferred Financial Services works out a payment structure that is in line with each client’s unique financial needs.

Consumers can enroll multiple debts into the service as well. If you are buried in credit cards payments, utility bills and other debts, you may be able to take advantage of this company’s services.

Free consultation with a certified debt specialist

Preferred Financial Services has a staff of certified debt settlement experts that you can speak with confidentially. They will quickly assess your debt challenges and inform you of all the options available to you, and the phone call is absolutely free.

With professional help from Preferred Financial Services, you can put money back into your pocket and begin living without the stress of credit card debt. Log on to PFSDebtRelief.com to find out how.

Finance

How To Legally Erase Up to 60% or More of Credit Card Debt

Millions of Americans struggling with credit cards and other debts are wondering if there is a debt bailout program for consumers.  There is some good news to report:  Debt relief is available to consumers who get in over their heads, often through no fault of their own. 

Relief from Credit Cards and Other Debts

While the government is not able to extend a credit card debt bailout for millions of consumers, credit card companies are.  Why are they willing to do this?  It’s simple:  To protect their bottom line! For consumers who can’t afford to pay their debts in full, credit card companies will often agree to reduce interest rates, waive fees and penalties, or even erase or forgive up to 60% or more of your debt.  It all depends upon your financial situation.

How Much Could Debt Relief Save You?

For consumers who are struggling in debt, The Debt Relief Center provides a convenient way to learn the debt relief options available to you.  With a free debt relief analysis, you can quickly receive a free debt relief savings estimate.  It’s fast, convenient, and it’s a great way for consumers to see the potential benefits and savings of debt relief, with no obligation.

Credit Card Companies Finally Giving Consumers a Break

It’s ironic to consider that credit card companies, who for years have been aggressively targeting vulnerable consumers, now hold out an olive branch to some of those same consumers saying in effect, “what can you afford to pay?”  There are many consumer advocates that would say this turnabout is fair play – thinking back to the sky-high interest rates, late fees and penalties, and impossible to decipher cardholder agreements that contributed greatly to the problem in the first place. That’s why credit card firms are willing to provide a credit card debt bailout for consumers.

Finding Your Way Out of Debt – Stress Free!

If you’re stressed over debts, imagine what it would feel like to have that weighted lifted off your shoulders.  You don’t have to face your debts alone. The good news is, The Debt Relief Center can help provide you with much needed relief – and not only remove stress from your life, but possibly help you save you thousands of dollars as well.

To see your debt relief options and receive a Free Debt Relief Analysis, at no obligation visit: www.debtreliefcenter.org

 

Finance

Prepaid Debit Cards Offer Huge Advantages Over Checking Accounts

Are checking accounts about to become obsolete? They may well be.  A new financial innovation from a company called AccountNow effectively eliminates the need to keep a checking account.

This is great news not just for those who are unable to open a checking account, but also for people looking for convenience and savings.

The solution is called a prepaid debit card and it not only gives you most everything a checking account provides, but so much more.

Prepaid Visa and Prepaid MasterCards from AccountNow work just like a checking account. You can easily make deposits into your account, including direct deposits of your paycheck.   And deposits are FDIC insured, just as with an old-fashioned bank account. The Prepaid Cards you get from AccountNow allow you to shop & pay bills online, make hotel & car rental reservations, and purchase goods & services wherever Visa or MasterCard is accepted.  They can also be used to withdraw cash at virtually any ATM or bank.

Take Control of Your Spending:

What’s most exciting about using Prepaid cards rather than a checking account is that it allows you to immediately take control of your finances and never have to worry about overdrafts or bounced checks.  So many of us have gotten into trouble taking on more credit and debt that we can handle.  AccountNow Prepaid cards are the perfect way to let us live within our means on a daily basis.  They also mean no more finance charges, late charges, or overdraft fees potentially saving you hundreds of dollars a year.

Best of all, anyone can get approved, even if you have had poor credit or banking problems in the past. 

Build Your Credit History:

AccountNow Prepaid Visa and Prepaid MasterCard cards also help you build your credit history in two ways. First, use the system to pay your bills online for free which will save you time, money, and demonstrate your credit worthiness. Second, the company offers an iAdvance Line of Credit, a way to get access to cash from your pay checks even before you deposit them.  This is alike a short term loan that is automatically paid back when you deposit your paycheck, but it’s cheaper than a payday loan.   Because you are constantly paying back the loan, AccountNow will report your payment history to the major credit bureaus, building your positive credit history.

Safer than cash:

Lastly, carrying an AccountNow Prepaid Visa or Prepaid MasterCard card is safer than cash. You are fully protected from unauthorized charges made to your prepaid card account in case your card is lost or stolen.

If you’re looking for financial freedom, check out Prepaid Visa and Prepaid MasterCard’s from AccountNow today, click here