Get Educated

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No matter how much information is out there about credit cards, there still seems to be many unanswered questions people have about them. Here are 3 common credit card questions people wonder about:     

Should I get a card with an annual fee? – Because there are so many awesome fee-free credit cards on the market, you probably shouldn’t be stuck with a card that has fees in the first place. Weigh the pros and cons for the best answer.

Should my kid have a credit card? – It may seem like the “it” thing for a teenager to have, but unless they have a job to pay down the balance the answer is no.

Will it hurt if I close out the account on a credit card? – If you want to raise your FICO, the answer is probably no. It doesn’t add points to your score.

Be on the lookout for part 2 of Common Credit Card Questions People Wonder About for answers to the most common credit card questions.


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Wondering how many credit cards you should have? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some financial experts say zero….as in none. Others say as many as you can handle. However, the question may not be how many you can handle, but more so what kinds of cards you should carry. Co-founder of credit.com, Adam Levin suggests carrying an all-purpose card and a low interest credit card.

Your all-purpose card would be your rewards based cards, which are great for everyday use. It allows you to earn rewards for purchases. The interest fees are higher, but the goal is to pay off the balance each month.

Your low interest credit card is for emergencies and unexpected repairs. These cards give you wiggle room and due to low interest rates, you’re not overwhelmed with paying them back.


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In Dead End Loans You’ve Got To Avoid: Part 1 and Part 2, you had a chance to see the bad side effects of pay day loans, car title loans, credit card cash advances, casino loans and pawn shop loans. In part 3 we are going to cover other kinds of loans that may end up leaving you worse than where you started.

  1. Overdraft Loan – If you have overdraft protection from your bank, you can basically overdraft as much as the bank allows for a hefty fee. The fee per transaction usually runs anywhere between $29 and $35 dollars per overdraft occurrence.
  2. Installment Loan – Installment loans are similar to payday loans. Borrowers are able to get anywhere from $200 to $1000 often in just 24 hours. The interest fees are astronomical, but unlike payday loans, payments usually stretch out over 6 to 12 months. If you default on these loans, the lender may take out a huge sum from your checking account. For many, this can be over half of their paycheck. Many times the payments seem to never put a dent on the loan balance.

Avoiding the loan types listed in this three part series is the most ideal way of protecting yourself from getting into a financial nightmare.


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Financial binds can trap anyone, but before you go out looking for a loan there are some options you may never want to consider. In Dead End Loans You’ve Got To Avoid: Part 1, we covered payday loans, car title loans and tax preparer loans. Now in part 2 we are going to cover some other kinds of loans you may want to avoid.

  1. Pawn Shop Loan – Many pawn shops will take personal items such as jewelry and other valuable merchandise and use it as loan collateral. If the loan isn’t paid in time, you run the risk of losing the item all together. The interest rates can be very high and people sometimes end up paying more than the market value of the property.
  2. Credit Card Cash Advance – These loans can feel so easy because they are instant, but the interest rates and other fees are high.
  3. Casino Loan – Some casinos offer interest-free lines of credit that can only be used for gambling. If you lose more money than you can afford while gambling, they can place a lien on your property.

In Dead End Loans You’ve Got To Avoid: Part 3, you’ll see other financial instruments that you’d be better off staying away from.


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A tight financial bind usually pushes people into making desperate financial decisions. Those decisions usually show up in the form of loans. While not every loan is bad, some loans should be avoided at all costs. In part one of Dead End Loans You’ve Got To Avoid, you will see three kinds of loans that could leave you in a worst off position than where you started.  

  1. Pay Day Loan – This lending model may present itself as a logical, quick and fair solution that will hold you over until your next paycheck. But, what many borrowers soon realize is that it’s nearly impossible to satisfy the payments without falling behind on other important bills. Before you know it, you’re taking out another loan to satisfy the one you had before it.  
  2. Car Title Loan – Unless you don’t mind risking your ride, car title loans are bad news. The interest rates are extremely high and the loan is usually due in 30 days. Many people have forfeited their vehicles because they just couldn’t pay anymore.
  3. Tax Preparer Loan – Tax preparer loans usually promise to give you the money the IRS owes you weeks in advance in exchange for a huge cut of the pie. Though regulations have cracked down on this practice some companies are getting creative by offering personal lines of credit with double digit interest rates.

Check out part two where you’ll get to see three other dead end loan types you should avoid.


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Everyone wants a low interest rate credit card. Unfortunately, everyone won’t qualify for one. If you want to try your luck and apply for one anyway, here are the best credit cards offered in America this month, according to Credit.com. Even though the better your credit, the stronger your chances are of being approved for these sweet deals, you still may be able to squeeze through the door with less than perfect credit. Keep in mind that if that’s the case your rate won’t be as great as someone with perfect credit.  Here are the top two credit cards this month:

#1 – Simmons Bank Via Platinum
This card offers extremely low interest rates with the cash advance rate at 11.25%. Cardholders get to view the card’s financial performance and vote on rates, fees and benefits.

#2 – PenFed Promise
This card has a very low interest rate with no fees. Rates for cash advances run as low as 7.99%. There are no annual fees. Plus, you can earn a $100 statement credit as a new holder when you spend $1500 inside the first 90 days.


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When you’re ready to apply for a new credit card, keep in mind the terms and conditions. Read through them carefully. By doing so, you ensure that you are aware of all the following:

Introductory rates – These are rates offered by the company and will go up after the introductory period is over.
Annual fees – These are fees charged by the company each year for using the credit card. It is not the same as the interest rate.
Overseas transaction fees – These are additional fees charged if you use your credit card out of the country. This is important if you travel abroad often.
Details of any 0% APR – This is their guarantee that they won’t charge interest on anything you buy for a certain period of time.
Balance transfer fees – This is when you pay off the existing balance on a card by transferring it to another card.
Miscellaneous – These are any other things you should be aware of. Every company is different, so pay attention to details.


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So, you’ve applied for a loan and found out you were DENIED.  You probably feel bummed, but you may also be wondering what to do next. Before you get up in arms about the situation, see this as a great opportunity. Now you have a chance to investigate any issues that are likely lurking on your credit report. Here are the next steps you should probably take:

  • First, find out why you were denied. The lender will send you a letter letting you know what the issue was.
  • Next, check your credit report. See if there are any late payments or accounts in collections that brought your score down.
  • If you see anything on there that looks fishy, make sure you aren’t a victim of identity theft.
  • After you’ve checked the problem and know why you were denied, you may want to consider a new lender.

Keep in mind that every time you apply for a loan, it pulls down your credit score a few points. It’s considered a hard inquiry. You’d do best not to keep applying for loans you know you won’t get approved for until you fix the issues on your credit report.


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If you’ve been thinking about getting a department store card, be careful. Although there are advantages to having them, there are disadvantages as well. In part one, we covered the high interest rates and limited use of store cards. Now, we’re going to cover a couple of more disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Buyer’s Impulse: Many card holders tend to buy more impulsively when they have a card. Stores want you to spend more and with a card in hand, you may be more likely to do so.

Better Deals Some Place Else: This isn’t really a con, but more so a word of advice. Don’t get a card just because they’re offering you 10% or 20% off a purchase for a day. There are some stores offering much better incentives. You just have to keep looking around.

Now that you know the cons to having a department store card, you can make a much more informed decision before signing your name on the dotted line.


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When you go into a store, it’s not uncommon to get an offer for their store card. In fact, they make big money off of this method. But, before you grab one there are some things you should be aware of. In part one of “Cons to Getting Department Store Credit Cards”, you’ll see some of the disadvantages to applying for one of these cards.

Limited Use:  With some store cards, you can use them just like a normal credit card, but with others you can only use it at that store.

High Interest rates: Store credit cards have much higher interest rates than regular credit cards. Some stores do allow a certain period with no interest rates, but if you miss a payment they may go back and apply those interest rates.

Credit Score Loss: Every time you apply for a card, your score gets knocked down by a few points. Plus, if your balance is too high it can hurt your score as well.

In part two, you’ll get to see a few other disadvantages to having a store card.