Lets face it, getting a credit card is not to hard to do, even with not so good credit, but there are things you should avoid when shopping around for the perfect card. There a hundreds of credit cards, and credit card companies out there, don’t be sucked in by flashy advertising and gimmicks. The problems that you have these days is that applying for a card can literally be a few clicks of your mouse away. Punch in a bit of information and wallah. But you can still get in trouble. Here are some basic things the look at before you dive right into that credit card ocean.
[Read: Florida Credit Card Debt Laws]
Factors to Consider
When you decide to jump into that credit card ocean, you are bound to encounter mishaps if you do not prepare yourself, and you do not avoid the obvious. The credit card companies purposefully hide the small print and the nitty gritty details of the cards they are peddling. And why not, if most folks really know what they were getting into, they would never sign up.
- You Are To Eager to Get A Card
- Not Comparing
- Not Looking at the Contract
- Signing Up Because of the Ads
Now that we set out the factors lets look a them, how they fit with other issues and what you can do to avoid being taken by the flash of the sale. Look at the factors and follow the tips that are coming and you will be will on your way to a match made in heaven, rather than one made in the back ally.
1. Look at the Terms Closely
Having the lowest interest rate is a very inciting attribute, but you must look at the overall terms of the credit card, is it a low introductory offer that will shoot up in a few months, no matter what you do, or if you pay on time. What are the annual fees, are they really to high, or can they be waived if you purchase a certain amount of goods. There are a lot of similarities between most major credit cards, so look for the little things that make one more advantageous than the other.
2. Not reading the terms at all
This ties into the first point, but be sure you dig deep and read the whole contract, not just the bullet points and the highlights. Buried deep in those contracts are the terms that can come back to haunt you, such as, on of the ones I hate the most, is the universal default clause, that is a biggie, if you don’t know what it is find out.
3. Getting Approved
Getting approved is not a guaranteed thing, even with excellent credit. Why you may ask, well if you are in a point where your credit is high, but you are overloaded with debt, and you feel it slipping away, looking to add more credit will show that you are in debt overload, and you may be turned down by the credit card company. Make sure that you are getting the card for all the right reasons, and not as a safety net for bad times.
4. Over Applying
This can really hurt your chances of getting a card, or a card that you really want with good terms, if you use the shotgun approach you are destine to fail. You will want to make sure that you are applying in long periods of time between applications, if you don’t there will be to many credit inquiries on your report, which can impact your score for one, and lessen your overall chances of getting a credit card, a new one.
Getting a Credit Card: In Conclusion
In the holiday season you have a strong desire to buy things for friends and family, and applying for a credit card seems like a sure fire way to get that extra discretionary freedom and piece of mind, but be aware of the factors set forth and the issues raised by those factors when you are thinking about and applying for that perfect credit card. Making a mistake in the process can cost you thousands of dollars and countless headaches down the road.
So curb your enthusiasm, compare many different cards and companies, and even different cards within the same companies, read, read, read the contract and the fine print, they purposefully make these small and hard to read for a reason, so you won’t read them, beat them to the punch and read the agreement. And lastly, avoid being sucked in my cleaver advertising and gimmicks, those are sometimes the worst cards out there for you to have, they are tailored for the masses and have little long term or short term benefit, other that to the company. You have the knowledge, go forth and use it wisely.