Posts tagged: credit

Why you Should Never Delay the Payment of your Credit Card Bills

outstanding credit card billWhen used smartly, with prudence and financial discipline, credit cards can be quite a convenient financial tool that can help you manage your rolling money better. However, anyone who has ever missed a credit card payment knows that missing timely payments of your credit card bill is one of the cardinal financial sins. Missing the due date of your credit card bills can have significant financial implications that could affect your overall credit worthiness.

Many falsely believe that paying the minimum amount due on your credit card bill is sufficient to avoid interest on the outstanding bill amount. However, your entire outstanding credit card bill will attract interest charges, irrespective of the amount that you have paid. Missing a credit card bill payment means a late fee will be levied when you fail to pay the minimum amount due by the bill due date. The longer the delay, the charges and late fees keep piling on and a heavy interest is levied on outstanding bill amount.

Depending on your card issuer, the annualized interest rate on this outstanding amount can go up to as high as 45% p.a.While there is a short window of interest free grace period that the RBI directs card issuers to allow and you can avail this window to pay any pending bills that you may have. However, missing a payment means that your credit score is likely to be adversely affected and the card issuer may reduce your credit limit too.

If, for whatever reasons you are unable to pay your outstanding credit card bill, contact your credit card issuer to convert your purchases into equated monthly installments. However, it may cause problems should you decide to apply for a consumer loan in the future.

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The Basics of Debt Management Plans

debt stress reliefDebt management plans are usually offered as a part of a debt consolidation solution to your various debt problems. According to it is a great way for you to seize control of your own finances and eliminate any unsecured debts you may have at the same time. Remember that unsecured debts are those that aren’t covered by a collateral asset such as a house or car. Typical unsecured debts include credit cards and student loan payments.

How it Works for You

When you sign up for a debt management plan, you are required to make a deposit every month to the company you signed up with. This deposit is used by the advisors at the company to pay off each of your multiple debts in a schedule that has been negotiated and agreed upon with the people you owe money to.

This monthly deposit you make is one that is determined by how much you can afford to pay each month while living frugally. You are informed of the amount you will pay before actually signing any agreements. You can have the monthly payment amount suggested to you by letting the debt management company analyze your income and expenses.

The Benefits of Using Debt Management Plans

These plans are made for a single reason – to keep your organized. This is the main advantage of such a program. It doesn’t reduce how much you owe, of course, but makes it far easier to pay off the debts because you make them on time. You can also finally make a budget for yourself that has a set goal and is realistic, without overdoing your spending on debt payments. These regular payments you make to pay off your debts also serve to improve the look of your credit score as time goes by, meaning that your creditors will no longer need to call you every two days to remind you about your outstanding payments.

Choose the Right Counseling Company

There are many credit counseling companies out there that are willing to help you manage your debt with a debt management plan. Most of these claim to be non-profit, while others will charge you for their services. You should always try to find a company that has trained, qualified and certified counselors working for them. Agencies like the Consumer Protection Agency, the Better Business Bureau, and the local DA office can help you identify companies that have a good reputation without any complaints or a history of bad service.

Points to Consider When Signing Up

It can take over three years to pay off all your debt using a management plan. While paying off your debt, you will have to live more modestly than you are used to. You also won’t be able to take out loans or apply for new credit cards while you are enrolled in the plan. If your payments on the plan are late, your costs may rise over time, and you will be at risk of having to stay in it for longer. With all these in mind make the right decision for yourself and your bank account!

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4 Steps to Follow before Applying for a Personal Loan

loans for youFinancial institutions provide credit to individuals to help them meet fund requirements, such as medical emergency, wedding, or a dream holiday. These loans are offered based on their credit history. The Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) collects information from financial institutions to maintain credit scores for individuals across the country.

Availing of personal finance loans allows individuals to overcome any liquidity crises. However, before applying for the loan, it will be beneficial to know the procedure and the pros and cons of such credit facilities.

Understanding the loan application process

Most financial institutions in the country offer personal loans to individuals. However, the procedure may vary from one lender to another. Understanding the process and the rules and regulations of the institutions before making the choice is recommended. It is advisable to review the loan application form to comprehend the terms and conditions in order to make an accurate decision.

Here are four steps to follow before applying for a loan.

1. Check the interest rates

Each lender levies different rate of interest. Some institutions may offer fixed rates while others may offer reducing balance rate of interest. In the latter calculation, the interest is charged on monthly reducing balance determined after decreasing the Equated Monthly Installment (EMI). However, with a fixed rate, the interest remains the same during the entire loan tenure.

2. Determine the Equated Monthly Installment (EMI)

Lenders determine the loan amount based on the income of the applicants and their credit score. It is important to choose an EMI that may be repaid without facing financial constraints. It is advisable that all the EMIs do not exceed 50% of the borrower’s monthly income to prevent a liquidity crisis.

3. Understand the documentation

Some of the commonly required documents include an identity, age, and residence proof along with the duly filled application form. Furthermore, applicants may need to provide details of their income and bank accounts to the lenders.

4. Confirm the loan eligibility

Applicants must use a personal loan online calculator to determine their eligibility before applying for a loan. Any individual aged between 21 years and 58 years may apply for such loans. The minimum net monthly income must be at least INR 25,000 with two years of work experience. An online calculator will help borrowers to know the approximate amount they may procure as a loan.

Having understood the loan application procedure, here are three benefits of applying for such loans.

1. Collateral not required

Unlike other credit facilities like home or auto loans, personal loans are unsecured. This means borrowers do not need to provide any personal asset as collateral against the loan. In case an individual fails to make timely repayments, the risk of losing the asset is eliminated with these loans.

2. Quick approval

These loans require applicants to submit some basic documents for receiving approval. Furthermore, these are unsecured credit facilities that make it easier for lenders to sanction the loans. Since the loan approval is primarily based on the credit history of the applicant, an easy personal loan is disbursed within a short period of time.

3. Affordability

Contrary to belief, these loans are available at competitive interest rates. Furthermore, the processing fees and other charges are nominal, which makes it affordable for individuals to avail of these credit facilities.

Personal finance may be used for any legal purpose. This provides flexibility to the borrowers without limiting the use of these funds. Several financial institutions offer these loans and provide loan-related information on their websites.Individuals must conduct extensive research and review these details in order to land the best deal.

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Do You Really Need a Credit Card at the Age of 25?

need a credit cardA 25-year old is done with college and is probably into his first job. At the threshold of adulthood, he wants to fulfill several dreams in a short period of time. Most people believe that having a credit card is an important factor of becoming an adult. However, there are many individuals who think such cards are unnecessary. Just like investing is not necessary, having a card is also not a necessity. So then why would a 25-year old need one?

Here are five reasons why having a credit card at the age of 25 is beneficial.

1. Deposits are Not Necessary

Some merchants who accept debit card payments require the customers to also pay a higher deposit at the time of booking. In case a person is unable to execute the plans, the merchants are still able to earn some of their cash deposit amounts (because there fund is done after deducting a certain sum). These are similar to security deposits and may become inconvenient. A credit card eliminates all such difficulties for the users because merchants do not require deposits for such transactions.

2. Deferred Payment

When an individual uses a debit card to purchase any product or service, the money is immediately deducted from his bank account. On the other hand, a credit card purchase does not have to be paid until the next payment due date. For example, if a cardholder purchases something using his card on the 1st of a month and billing due date is 31st of the month; he enjoys an interest-free period of 30 days. Although this may not seem like much, being able to make purchases without the need to pay upfront cash may help users save a lot of money over a longer period of time.

3. Affordable Home Loan Interest Rates

Many people think that they may receive better discounts and close a home purchase faster if they pay in cash. However, if a person has used his credit card responsibly and made timely payments, this is reflected in his credit score given by a credit rating agency like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). A higher credit score is beneficial in reducing the interest cost on home loans and other types of borrowings. This makes it less expensive for people to buy their dream home. Furthermore, paying the mortgage installment with a card reduces the actual cash outflows and helps prevent financial difficulties.

4. Reward Points

Most card companies provide excellent reward-based credit cards for their customers. These issuers allow the cardholders to accumulate reward points on their spending. These are redeemable against several offers, such as travel deals, air miles, or purchasing some products and services. In addition to the reward points, users may enjoy cashback offers and benefit from signup bonuses that make credit cards more beneficial.

5. Develop Credit Score

A 25-year old may not have any credit history. However, he may need to avail of a loan in a couple of years to purchase a home or any other asset. This period may be used to develop a good credit score using a credit card. When an individual utilizes his card responsibly and has no delays in payments, it has a positive impact on his credit score. Having a strong credit score has several direct and indirect benefits, such as increased possibility of receiving approval on loans and lower interest rates.

People often find lots of information on how using a credit card may have severe outcomes, such as financial distress and debt traps. However, using a card wisely also has many benefits. However, before applying for a credit card, it is important to check credit card eligibility and understand the terms and conditions related to credit cards.

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What Is A Bad Credit Score And How To Fix It

boost your credit scoreIf you’ve recently tried to borrow some money or take out a credit card but have had the dreaded rejection email or letter, it’s pretty much certain that there is something amiss with your credit score. This can seem like an enormous setback, an intractable problem that is going to wreck your plans and prevent you from getting on in life.

But, bad credit scores are not only highly common; they are highly fixable too. Many hundreds of thousands of people in the United Kingdom suffer impaired credit ratings and yet still manage to borrow money through the so-called sub prime lending sector.

Furthermore, given good financial management and discipline, these people are able to fix their credit scores so that, after a certain period, they regain access to more mainstream forms of credit.

Credit scores explained

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK – they are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. These organisations hold data on every person who has borrowed money, holds a utility or insurance account or a mobile phone contract. This data includes information that includes existing and past addresses, the payment history on each account (whether payments are and have been kept up to date), a record of any defaults, bankruptcies or county court judgements (CCJs).

The information is straightforward. You can apply to one or all of the reference agencies for a copy or your record (for the payment of a small fee) and you should be able to see immediately where your problems lie if you’re having trouble getting access to credit.

But, it is how the agencies and financial organisations interpret the data that results in a credit score. This number – usually between 300 and 900 (although this varies according to which agencies figures are being used) – is an expression of risk that a borrower represents to a lender. The lower the score, the higher the risk. Some agencies will express that risk as very poor, poor, fair, good or excellent. Very poor might be a rating between 300 and 400 while good and excellent might extend all the way from 700 up to 900.

Those judged to be very poor are likely to have difficulty getting access to most forms of credit. They will struggle to be accepted for loans, credit cards, bank accounts and even mobile contracts. This rating may even affect their ability to get a new electricity or water account set up.

People with poor credit ratings are likely to be rejected by many lenders, but some will consider their applications. However, they are likely to face higher interest charges, lower loan amounts and, sometimes, requests by the lender that they put up some form of security before a loan is issued.

Fair credit ratings are in the middle of the pack. If you fall into this category, you will find that you will have a wider choice of loans and credit cards than people in the categories below you. However, it is almost certain that you will have to pay higher interest charges than people in the higher categories.

People with good credit ratings will be accepted for most loans and credit cards that they apply for. There is a small chance that they will have to pay slightly higher interest charges. Excellent credit ratings are the ones which we all aspire to have. People in this category are almost guaranteed to be accepted for any form of credit and will pay the lowest interest rates and charges.

How to fix a bad credit score

While the immediate situation can seem bleak, it is perfectly possible to repair your credit score with time and discipline. There is no ‘quick fix’ but experience shows that people with poor or very poor scores can get back to good and then excellent within a couple of years. Here’s how they do it:

1. They make their repayments on time

Your financial mistakes will fade over time as long as you start behaving responsibly now. That means making payments on time, every time from now on. Over time, this good behaviour will start to outweigh the late or missed payments on your credit record.

2. Settle accounts

If you have got a bit of money in the bank, consider whether you should pay off a credit card balance or loan rather than splashing out on something new. This is particularly good and viewed very favourably if you’ve maxed out your cards because it will reduce your overall debt to income ratio and will have a pretty rapid effect on your credit score.

3. Get a ‘credit builder’ credit card

Some of the big banks and major financial organisations offer versions of their mainstream credit cards for people with poor credit records. You’ll hear these referred to as ‘credit builder’ or ‘credit repair’ cards and although they will come with lower credit limits and higher APRs than those offered to people with good credit records, they will allow you to quickly demonstrate financial rectitude by repaying a small amount of borrowing on time. This will be reflected on your credit record every time you make the payment.

4. Look at your credit records

It will cost you just a few pounds to get hold of your records from the major reference agencies. It’s worth doing because it will allow you to see where the problem areas are and take corrective action or to turn up any mistakes on your record. If there are mistakes, you should write to the agencies and explain them. The record will generally show your credit score so you will know how much work you have to do.

5. Take out a guarantor loan

This is an excellent way to rebuild a credit score. A guarantor loan will allow somebody who has a bad credit score to use the record of somebody else to borrow money. A friend or family member will stand as guarantor for the borrowing, becoming liable to make the repayments if the borrower slips up. As a result, the lender looks at the score of the guarantor, not the applicant, but every repayment made on time is recorded on the borrower’s record. Over time, this will improve a credit score.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the finance industry working together with technology-led finance broker Solution Loans, who were consulted over this post.

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