As a busy single mom, you may not always stop and read all of the fine print on a credit card offer you receive. Considering how many offers come through the mail, you may not know the different options they all come with. If you need credit, you may simply choose one, fill it in and mail it. However, a credit card company is a for-profit business, so it’s important to remember that your best financial interests will not necessary match the credit card company’s best financial interests. There are still many credit card traps out there waiting to suck in unsuspecting consumers, so make sure you know what to look for. No one wants to get stuck with a credit card they don’t like.
One of the nastiest traps is an annual fee. With all of the free credit cards on the market, avoid any and all that charge you a fee simply to have the card. You don’t need this expense. Also watch out for offers that may have no annual fee the first year, but may have an annual fee later on. Things like this are how the companies trap consumers who don’t read all the details and fine print on the credit card offers they fill out.
There are other kinds of fees you may face as well with some credit cards. With new stricter laws on the books regarding credit and cards, companies have to get more creative in their attempts to get your money. You might be charged fees to use rewards programs or check your balances, or your interest rate may fluctuate dramatically. Always read notices that you receive to check for these types of fees, and make changes accordingly. If these fees become too much for you to afford, you may want to find another card that will not charge those fees, or at least, one that will charge less expensive fees.
Watch out for increasing rates, which is yet another way the credit card companies try to justify late payments or extending your limit. One simple mistake on your account, such as paying your bill just one day late, can trigger a rate increase. To avoid falling prey to this trick, it might be best to pay the credit card bill as soon as it comes in, or to pay online or by phone so you don’t have to worry about it getting lost in the mail or not getting there on time. Make sure you are diligent to pay your bill on time every single month. Those increased rates can destroy you when they rise above 20 percent or more. For those who already have poor credit, the rates may already be high, and if the rate goes even higher, the bills may not be affordable anymore.
Remember, credit card traps are subtle, so you need to be a wise credit card user. Read everything your company sends you, especially if it refers to any changes or new rules or fees put into place, pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and even increased interest rates, and do your best to use credit only when you absolutely have to, and you may find that this extra diligence can help you make your financial situation better.
For more information please visit www.singlemomfinancialhelp.com/