Things to Watch Out for When Applying for a Credit Card

Title : Things to Watch Out for When Applying for a Credit Card

Author : Peter Bolduc

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See also : Credit Cards 101


It would be nice to think that all credit card issuers are fair and just, however, such is not the case. Not all credit cards are the same, nor are those that issue them. Many try to take advantage of of an unsuspecting public. Below are a few pointers to look out for when applying for a credit card.

Pay attention to the interest rate being charged. While, as stated, you can expect to pay a higher interest rate, it should not be too excessive.

Do not even consider cards that have a zero grace period. This means that they begin to charge interest from the day the charge occurred. You wind up paying interest on interest. There are numerous cards out there that provide a 25 day or so grace period allowing you to have a chance to pay off the charge before interest is tracked.

Do not get over anxious. Read the fine print with each card you are wanting to apply to. If you do not understand a benefit or aspect of the contract seek out understanding. The issuer is in business to make a profit and you can rest assured that the contract leans in their direction. Your job is to choose the one that benefits you the most. Your primary objective is to have a clear understanding of the interest rates, fees, and penalties involved and what circumstances will those rates and fees increase, or under what circumstance will you be penalized.

With the huge consumer lending boom in the United States there is a considerable amount of fraud going on. Once you have established good credit and your credit score reaches various levels of acceptance, offers will flood your mail box and your phone will ring off the hook. Never accept credit card offers over the phone, or that come in the mail. Sales people undergo extensive training to sell you something you do not need or want. When you desire to increase your credit level, or desire another card with lower interest, seek out the offer that meets your specific need.

If you make a couple of applications and are turned down, consider having someone who you trust and who trusts you to co-sign for a card. Continual denials will result negatively on your report. This, however, should be a last resort as whatever happens does not only reflect on your credit report, it affects theirs as well. If you apply for a guaranteed secured, guaranteed store or catalog card, or a prepaid credit card this should not be necessary.

Only apply for the credit you need. Too much can be tempting and might stretch you too thin come the end of the month. Also, having too much unused credit can prove to be harmful when you go to apply for a more serious loan such as for a car simply do to the fact that, although you do not use it, it is available to you at will and lenders take this into consideration when reviewing your application and it is reflected on your Credit Score.

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About the Author:

Peter Bolduc is the Managing editor for, a site committed to assisting consumers in understand and building strong credit.