Credit cards are often the first step for a Consumer to build their credit score. When you make regular payments with a small Credit Limit, lenders will be more willing to lend you larger amounts. Before you jump out and open an account, make sure you don’t have too many credit lines open or otherwise hurt your credit.
Pick A Good Card
Credit Card companies offer several different types of credit cards for consumers. You can find student programs that require no Co-Signer or income. This is a great offer for your first card, but these cards also have higher rates.
You can also find cards with cash back rewards or other incentives. The trade-off are higher rates though. However, you can find no frill cards with low interest rates if you plan to carry a balance. Whichever credit card program you choose, make sure it fits with your financial goals.
When you are building your credit score, you want to start small. Open one account and use it at least once a month to make a purchase. This can be a regular purchase that you have cash to pay for. The point is to use your credit and then repay it. Every time you make a payment, it will show up on your credit report.
Lenders will also look at how often you make payments. So using your card once a year and paying off the entire balance that month won’t do you much good. Your credit report covers three years’ worth of payment history, and lenders want to see your payment pattern.
Don’t max out your card either. Only use a small portion of your credit to show lenders that you don’t get yourself into financial binds.
Maintain Your Credit
Regular payments are only one part of your credit score. You also want to keep your credit in good order. If you have dozens of accounts open, close the ones you don’t use. The less open credit you have, the more you will be eligible for, a bonus when buying a home or car.
Also be sure to take advantage of your annual free credit report. Look over it to make sure that your Credit History is correct. If you find any discrepancies, resolve them with your lender.
About The Author
Carrie Reeder is the owner of http://www.abcloanguide.com/, an informational website about various types of loans.
See my recommended http://www.abcloanguide.com/creditcards.shtml online.
WOW – this article by JEFF LANDERS really spells out how far off the the mark we (OUR elected officials – congress) are with both issuing credit and using credit. We need to protect our self from our self….if i was a woman i would be up in arms about this. Enjoy the read he really does nail this one.
The federal government is cracking down on who can and cannot own credit cards –and for some women, these changes could have dire consequences.
Under new rules in development by the Federal Reserve Board, banks will have to consider a consumer’s individual income as part of the credit card application process. Your household income or assets will no longer factor into the equation if you need credit.
This appears to be yet another law with unintended consequences. Although regulators undoubtedly saw these changes as a way to make it more difficult for consumers without income –particularly, underage students and the unemployed –to get in over their heads with credit card debt, they obviously missed an important point.
The result of this oversight is a gigantic step backward for women with little or no income of their own. That means the rules have changed significantly for stay-at-home moms, retirees and asset-rich, but income-poor women.
Think about it. If banks can only look at each applicant’s individual income –and not at their household income or assets, as they were able to do in the past –then these women will be shut out from obtaining credit, unless their husbands co-sign for them.
The implications could be quite serious. For example, establishing independent credit is often an essential first step towards ending an abusive marriage. Will these changes by the Fed make it harder for women to leave a dangerous domestic partnership? Likewise, once these rules go into effect, any woman considering divorce will find it more difficult to separate credit card accounts and establish credit on her own. If she can’t access marital funds because her husband controls those assets and she cannot establish any credit or a sufficient amount of credit in her own name, how will she get the funds required to hire competent divorce professionals?
A handful of advocacy groups and legislators are beginning to take notice. Earlier this year, US Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) asked the Fed to maintain the household income or assets measure for non-working spouses. This excerpt from their letter outlines some of the problems with the new regulations:
We are concerned that the Board’s proposal will hamper a stay-at-home mom’s ability to establish her own independent credit history by applying independently for a card. Many stay-at-home moms have a strong work history, yet the proposed regulations ignore their demonstrated credit-worthiness because of their lack of current market income. While stay-at-home moms may not be contributing to the market economy as workers, they make the majority of the day-to-day financial decisions on behalf of their household. Women’s consumer power represents 73 percent of household spending, or over trillion in annual discretionary spending. Finally, requiring married women to have their own earnings in order to qualify for credit represents a serious risk for women in abusive domestic partnerships. Women trapped in abusive marriages may be unable to work due to a controlling spouse, a hallmark of relationships characterized by domestic violence. The availability of an independent credit card may represent her best chance at establishing independence and a path out of a dangerous relationship. By not allowing these women to apply independently for a credit card, the proposed regulations represent a significant -and potentially dangerous set-back. We would accordingly urge the Board to amend its proposed rules so that issuers have the flexibility to consider household income in the cases of non-working spouses applying for credit.
Despite the negative impacts on some women, policy specialists aren’t expecting the Fed to budge on its decision. As Businessweek puts it, “fixing the mom flap won’t be easy, especially in the post-financial-crisis environment where regulatory zeal is the norm.”
If you’re a woman without your own income, you’re probably wondering, “Is there anything I CAN do to help establish credit in my name?”
Of course, there is – but, don’t expect it to be easy.
If you don’t have your own income, you can start to establish credit in your name by:
• Creating a solid credit history as an authorized user on a shared card.
• Putting utilities and other accounts in your name. Of course, you must also pay these bills on time! Every honored commitment helps build your credit history.
• Using a secured credit card.
More importantly, you should immediately start stashing away as much money as possible. (See more details in my article about the 9 Critical Steps Women Should Take To Prepare For Divorce).
If you have sufficient liquid assets available, not only will you be able to access those funds with a debit card, but hopefully you should be able to get a secured credit card with a higher limit.
Fortunately, you still have a few months to plan accordingly and possibly still get credit under the old rules. The Fed’s rule changes aren’t set to go into effect until October 1. Keep in mind, though, that credit card issuers can start enforcing these rules at any time.
Secured credit cards are a great way to establish new credit as well as building new credit after a bad run crushed your credit score. Especially after bankruptcy your reestablishment of credit is extremely important to show future lenders you have learned from your mistakes.
1.What exactly is a Secured Credit Card?
Simply put, a secured credit card is a credit card like any other but this card is secured with a cash deposit from you before you can qualify.If you submit a cash deposit of $250 your credit line will therefore be $250.A secured card will have the appearance of any other credit card, but this one allows banks to “loan” you money without taking any risk and in return they help boost your credit history.
2.Where can you get a Secured Credit Card?
Most banks offer secured credit cards.There are quite a few credit card companies that specialize in only secured credit cards as well.Check bankrate.com for a comparison of many of the cards available to compare fees and interest rates. You may qualify for lower fees and interest rates at the bank or credit union in which you hold your bank account.
3.How much money must you deposit?
It depends. Typically there is a minimum of $100 and an initial maximum of $500.After a few months of consistent payments you may be extended the ability to deposit more funds to extend your credit line.
4.What will I be charged?
Again, it depends. This is where comparing cards will pay off.Each bank will inevitably charge annual or monthly fees as well as an interest rate.Do your homework to find the best deal.
5.What are the “catches” I should watch out for?
Absolutely there are things to look out for.As I am sure you are aware, that fine print will always get you.Be sure to read all of the associated fees including “insurance policies” which could include huge monthly fees outside of your initial deposit.There are great companies out there willing to give you a secured credit card, but there are also quite a few wanting to take advantage of your poor credit history.
6.Should I get a Secured Credit Card through a bank?
It is definitely worth considering applying for a secured credit card through your own bank.They may offer you lower fees or a discounted interest rate for your patronage to their bank.Check out the big banks as well online for their fees and interest rates.Again, Bankrate.com is a great resource because it compares across many different cards.
7.Will a Secured Credit Card really help my credit score?
A secured credit card will absolutely help your credit score; that is as long as you use it responsibly! A good secured card reports to all three credit bureaus as any other credit card and will build a favorable credit history indicating to future lenders, landlords or employers that you are responsible with your money. There are of course bad secured cards that will flag your account as secured and will possibly only report to as little as one credit bureau.Before accepting the card be sure to ask these extremely important details.
8.How long does it take to qualify for an unsecured credit card?
There is no simple answer, but typically credit card companies will want to see about a year of spotless credit history.Be sure to absolutely make every payment on time.
9.What is the best way to use a Secured Credit Card?
The best way to use your secured credit card is to use it very sparingly.You will boost your credit score the most by making each and every payment on time as well as keeping your balance low; to about 30% or lower of your maximum available. Try using your card to buy one tank of gas a month and pay it off right away.This way you won’t be using your card for items you don’t really need and you will simultaneously be building your credit score.
10.Will I earn interest on my deposit?
Don’t expect to take a trip to Cabo on the interest here!Typically you will earn a return similar to that of your personal savings account, about 2% annually.But hey, earning interest is not the goal here, you’re trying to build a positive credit score!
There is a major crisis with people falling into large Credit Card debt. Rather than going through the numbers, the statistics and ratios, to help you get a realistic view of your debt situation, this will give you a different perspective.
On any article site, e-zine, printed newspaper or magazine, there are literary millions of write-ups about the condition of our national debt problem. We see TV reports and talkshows about this ever-growing problem. There are millions of tips about everything from debt consolidation, refinancing, and personal debt relief to the all important Credit SCORE.
Now, here is a new and different mode of thinking. If you have credit card debt so extensive, that other financial problems have occurred in your life, why does the credit score really matter at this point? It’s really a low priority in the large scheme of more important life changes you need to start looking at making. If you already own a house, have a job and are to the point where you can’t make ends meet, that credit score will not help you now. So trying to repair it right away or keep it from getting worse is the least of your worries. If you are renting, now is the time to chalk your credit card debt up as a major life learning experience and start to change your attitude about the debt, to pave a healthy road towards future financial goals as well.
It boils down to this, and reading every technicality about how to get out of debt, what will happen if you do A or B, will not solve the physical, mental and emotional turmoil that got you into debt in the first place. This is a task that will require a whole lot more dedication than reading every Source of information on the internet. There are not a lot of articles that deeply cover the changes you will have to make and the majority of them make it all sound so easy. It’s not easy to break free from using credit cards unwisely when it’s a bad habit. It didn’t start out this way, but slowly it got out of hand, because after the bills started piling up and a few unexpected life emegencies happened, you became stuck. Stuck in vicious cycle and this is now the most important part of breaking that credit card habit. Some of the consequences are inevitable and can only be helped as time goes on, with your first decision to stop the cycle. Yes, it’s important to get help or advice if you have been subject to debt Collection agencies. Find out what your rights are by gaining wisdom from those who have experienced it.
People who are in debt are not happy with tendencies towards depression, stress and anxiety. They may start to incur physical health problems as a result. In turn medical care, especially with no insurance plan, causes more bills with added worry and stress. How will it all get paid? This is living a life, where falling apart financially has snowballed into physical, mental and emotional anguish. These three components are the core of your debt problem. There is definitely not enough focus on this aspect of it. Making a plan in your everyday to life start from there can and does actually help.
There is a way to get a healthy balance of becoming debt free, learning wise budgeting skills, healthy spending and saving habits in order to become a whole and happy person. If this is where you need to start, the truth is that is not a quick, easy road. It may take more determination and discipline that you’ve ever put forth into anything. It will take sacrifice, with a realistic knowledge that it’s only temporary. Instant gratification, will need to be left behind hundred percent and the things you were always used to or liked may have to be given up. It’s worth it for your goal of paying off those credit card debts, while still maintaining the bills of your survivial in our culture. To avoid it or to try an easy way out, will only cause more pain and turmoil in the long run, while trying to make ends meet.
When you succeed and start to see the end of the tunnel with your debts, the world will open up to you with a new found freedom, that’s more important than physical property, looking good on the outside and keeping up with the “Joneses”. There will be a sense of peace and new maturity that will drive you to become proactive, not just with your finances but with many other areas in your life. This is the way happy people operate and you can obtain this goal. Happiness and freedom in life are virtues that need constant but well worth up keep.
Karolina V. Linares is an inspiring author with a message of her own struggles and finally winning the battle with credit card debt. See her website http://www.usecashtobuyit.com/