Credit cards and such

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 13, 2010 10:07 PM GMT
    Hello hello

    I'm finally stepping up in the real world with a salary job and all after years and years of school and I'm thinking of investing in a real credit card rather than the good ol' student cards with 15.99%+ APR.

    Anyone have any advice on which bank to go with? I'm not really looking at the perks too much, I would want a lower APR, and ease to pay bills (online banking etc).

    Any suggestions?


    Thanks y'all
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    Jan 13, 2010 10:41 PM GMT
    just go to whoever you bank with and tell them you want a credit card.

    it's easy cause it's linked to your account for easy payments

    they tell you right away if your approved (usually)

    and they will generally give you a higher minimum.

    i got my first CC like 3 years ago from capital one Visa and they started me with like a $500 balance, three years later its at $750 lol and i always pay it off, im in perfect standing with them

    i have a BofA AMEX and they started me off at $1000 and two years later i'm up to like $2500, also paid off in perfect standing.

    recently i applied for a CC with Chase because i no longer wanted to bank with BofA and the started me with an $8000 limit i was like SWEET! lol thats the only car i really use tho icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 13, 2010 10:42 PM GMT
    o shit, i think you live with my friend Aaron lol?!?
  • jon92027

    Posts: 25

    Jan 13, 2010 11:32 PM GMT
    not to rain on your parade, but I have spent the part 4 years trying to pay off approx 40k in credit card debt that i racked up after I graduated from college and got a "real-ish " job. Do everything you can to live on cash and pay as you go. The credit card that I use now, a Delta SkyMiles Amex, I pay off in full every month. I regret that I have to spend so much of my take home pay now to pay for things that I no longer have or I threw away a long time ago. I hope to be free of credit card debt by the end of the year and hope to never go back.

    In addition the banks and credit card issuers are now adding additional fees, and increasing interest rates all across the spectrum in an attempt to increase thier profits. Be very careful
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    Jan 14, 2010 1:09 AM GMT
    Junior_dot_PDX saidHello hello
    I'm finally stepping up in the real world with a salary job and all after years and years of school and I'm thinking of investing in a real credit card rather than the good ol' student cards with 15.99%+ APR.

    Anyone have any advice on which bank to go with? I'm not really looking at the perks too much, I would want a lower APR, and ease to pay bills (online banking etc).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks y'all

    Get 2 credit cards..

    - One card for emergencies only. Like unexpected expenses; e.g. if your car breaks down and you don't have enough cash to cover it, and you need to pay it off over time. This one will have a low APR and high limit.

    - Second card is your regular card. This is the card you use frequently*. And this is the card that you PAY OFF when you get the statement each month. Since you will be paying it off every month, the APR is irrelevant. So pick a card that has a reward program, preferably cash back or airline miles if you travel a lot.

    * I recommend paying everything in cash. It's the best way to go. But at your age, you need to focus on building your credit history. And to do that, you need to use a credit card. It's a necessary evil these days. But like I said, the key factor here is to pay it off every month and avoid the finance charge. And if your card has a cash back program, you're actually making a small profit.

    With that said, I don't have any specific recommendations for cards. Check with your existing bank and see if they have anything that might interest you. Both Capitol One and Chase have decent rates and rewards programs. Shop around.
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    Jan 14, 2010 1:23 AM GMT
    Having credit cards and being financially responsible are not mutually exclusive.

    While I agree that paying for only what you can afford and paying the bill in full every month on any credit cards you DO get is the best approach and one you should follow, not having enough credit is just as bad in the eyes of the scoring agencies as having too much.

    Do the best of both - get a Visa debit for your everyday purchases (you can get tons of perks on those and it's still paying cash) and a credit card that you can use for emergencies or to float larger purchase items for the month or so the billing cycle takes.

    But really, with interest rates at almost zero on checking accounts and most savings accounts, there's no real benefit to using a credit card unless it's going to return some kind of perk.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    Get the American Express you have to pay off every month. You'll have the card and avoid building a load of debt. To even carry a small balance on low interest you're still giving it away.

    Build you're nest egg in emergency funds first. Credit Card next. Sure everyone needs one but not the potential debt.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 1:49 AM GMT
    Thanks for everyone's input.

    I am getting an emergency CC with my Credit Union, and an Amex that I will pay off to rack the rewards to build my credit score. I am pretty good with budgeting etc with my debit cards right now.

    A
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 14, 2010 2:18 AM GMT
    I use a Capitol One credit card (around 9% interest rate) which I pay off every month, so the interest rate isn't a factor. And, I've been very happy with them.

    If you want on line banking, open a Charles Schwab account. No, you don't have to invest (unless you want to). You can just open a checking account, which pays interest on your balance, and pay your bills on line. It's one of the smartest moves I ever made. I love it.
  • ArmsandLegs

    Posts: 125

    Jan 14, 2010 4:35 AM GMT
    Whatever card you decide to get, just be sure to read the fine print and make sure the card doesnt do a double cycle interest calculation. I know Discover used to do this but I'm not sure anymore. Double cycle interest calculations charge you interest for the current AND previous cycles balance! So even if you payed your balance in full the previous month, they will still charge you interest for it!
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    Jan 14, 2010 9:06 PM GMT
    from my personal experience and from what i have been told by numerous people:

    credit cards are the only thing that can build credit or RAISE your credit score.


    car payments, insurance, rent payments, utility bills, cell phone.... they can only HURT your credit score.


    even if its only $50 a month on a credit card, the credit system literally FORCES you to spend money on credit, in order to maintain a positive credit score. which obviously impacts many, many, life decisions.

    it is an insanely fucked up system that forces people to constantly spend money, and one of the main reasons why capitalism eats people's souls.


    if anybody feels this is incorrect information, please correct me, because I am 22 years old with $1500 a month in rent, car payments, and various other bills, that I ALWAYS pay on time, and my credit score of 650 details that I have "no established credit"...... because that makes sense icon_evil.gif

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    Jan 14, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    The ideal way to become your credit cards worse nightmare and become debt free is to pay off your card completely each month. Now this obviously isn't possible all of the time so just pay a little extra. When credit card companies send out your statement at the end of the month you will normally find the figure for your minimum payment is in a larger font than that of your actual total to pay back, you will never guess why they do that!!! OK I will tell you it is because that is what they want you to pay because most of it is interest on what you owe!
  • Neon_Dreams

    Posts: 352

    Jan 14, 2010 9:53 PM GMT
    A credit card is not an "investment" option as some people may think... LOL


    Joe
  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Jan 14, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    I don't keep balances on my cards. I use them for business and pay the balances off on almost a daily basis. The cards provide points that I can turn into cash. I have 2 new custom sofas being made right now that the points from last year paid for 2/3rds of them. So for me, the cards do make money.

    Mine are CapitalOne but there are other companies that offer points/miles as well.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 14, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    I'd keep your number of cards to a minimum and while I think its prudent to take advantage of 0% transfer rates, always watch fees and whether their APR is fixed or variable.

    Just know many banks are raising fees and may try and jerk you around.
    And don't switch cards very often... it can affect your credit.. and speaking of.. always watch whats happening with your credit rating!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2010 10:38 PM GMT
    I cut up my credit cards in 1993, and saw my bank account go UP. Only keep a debit card that can be used like a VISA.

    If you can't afford it, don't buy it.
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    Jan 15, 2010 12:32 AM GMT
    drummerboy1017 saidfrom my personal experience and from what i have been told by numerous people:

    credit cards are the only thing that can build credit or RAISE your credit score.

    car payments, insurance, rent payments, utility bills, cell phone.... they can only HURT your credit score.

    even if its only $50 a month on a credit card, the credit system literally FORCES you to spend money on credit, in order to maintain a positive credit score. which obviously impacts many, many, life decisions.

    it is an insanely fucked up system that forces people to constantly spend money, and one of the main reasons why capitalism eats people's souls.

    if anybody feels this is incorrect information, please correct me, because I am 22 years old with $1500 a month in rent, car payments, and various other bills, that I ALWAYS pay on time, and my credit score of 650 details that I have "no established credit"...... because that makes sense icon_evil.gif

    Your credit score is based on a few things..

    - History, and the ability to pay. IE; late payments, defaults, large purchases, etc.
    - Current total debt
    - Current total credit

    There are some other factors, but those 3 are the main ones. But you're right, you ideally should use your credit card a lot. Because the credit reporting agencies take a snapshot of your credit/debt every month. If you're not using your card and you've got zero purchases, then that won't help your credit history/score. It doesn't matter if you pay off the card each month. As long as you're using the card and making that debt show up on those snapshots.

    Also, the amount of available credit versus debt is a big factor. If you've got a debt of $500 and total available credit of $10,000 your score will be higher than having a total available credit of $5,000.

    So if you want to increase your credit score, pay off your car and/or ask your credit card company to raise your limits. Just tell them you're planning on taking a vacation in a few months and you want to make sure you have enough credit, in case of an emergency. They won't hassle you if you ask for something reasonable like $1000 ~ $2000 increase. Don't ask for a $10,000 increase. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2010 12:42 AM GMT
    Agreed. I absolutely loathe credit cards, and refuse to get one. I plan on paying cash for absolutely everything, and so have no intention of using my credit score. So Experian/Equifax can go screw themselves.

    drummerboy1017 saidfrom my personal experience and from what i have been told by numerous people:

    credit cards are the only thing that can build credit or RAISE your credit score.


    car payments, insurance, rent payments, utility bills, cell phone.... they can only HURT your credit score.


    even if its only $50 a month on a credit card, the credit system literally FORCES you to spend money on credit, in order to maintain a positive credit score. which obviously impacts many, many, life decisions.

    it is an insanely fucked up system that forces people to constantly spend money, and one of the main reasons why capitalism eats people's souls.


    if anybody feels this is incorrect information, please correct me, because I am 22 years old with $1500 a month in rent, car payments, and various other bills, that I ALWAYS pay on time, and my credit score of 650 details that I have "no established credit"...... because that makes sense icon_evil.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    The sad fact is that some companies are using credit scores for other things. I know a few insurance companies run credit checks on you when you sign up for a policy. Apparently they seem to think that people with low/no credit are higher risks and will charge you a higher premium.