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How To Stay Away from Credit Card Risks

Despite the many warnings and advices against applying for the wrong credit cards, many consumers still make the mistake of apply for a credit card without doing their homework. If you’re thinking about getting a credit card yourself, what particular features should you look for? How do you stay away from credit risks? Here is a guide for you to consider:

Compare the right things. Today, you can visit review websites that present the best features of each card available in the market. Such reviews make it easier for you to narrow down your choices of cards. However, don’t compare cards based only on the main features listed on the site. Instead, pick at least three of your best options and take the time to visit the official website, read the complete terms and conditions, and compare which one gives you the best deal.

Compare interest rates. Most applicants compare cards based on their interest rates. Although you should be aware of how much the interest rate is, comparing the APR of the card gives you a more accurate comparison. Why is this? Because the APR of the card includes other fees and costs of the card, not the interest rate alone.

The type of interest rate. Does the card have a fixed rate or variable rate interest? Take note that although a variable-rate card may start out incredibly low, it has greater possibility to soar right after a few months, or weeks or even just a few days after you sign up with it. On the other hand, a card with a fixed rate of interest gives you more assurance on how much your exact interest rate would be.

Annual fees. It’s best to shop around for a card with no annual fee and reasonable interest rates. However, if you’ve found a one with a good fixed-rate of interest, a great rewards program, low penalty costs and reasonable terms but with an annual fee, you can consider it, provided that the annual fee does not supersede the advantages you’ll get. Take note that you will be paying the annual fee of the card each year so it’s better be on a reasonable level.

Security. Does it provide you with security protection against fraud and ID theft? The best in the market today offers fraud protection systems, secured online access to your account, zero liability protection against unauthorized charges, and 24/7 reliable customer support in case of theft.

Grace period and time limits. Don’t forget to pay attention to the length of grace period your credit offers. A 30-day grace period gives you more time to pay off your balances before incurring the additional interest and penalty cost. Also, be wary about introductory offers that last only for a short time. You may be surprised to find out that the low rates you signed up for has taken a leap to unreasonably high costs.

Shelly Evans is a freelance writer and loan consultant. The website offers resources that specialize in providing bad credit loans and bad credit cards to people with bad credit.