Low Credit Score? These 5 Things That Will Cost More!

If you have a low credit score, you’ll pay more for certain expenses.  Whether it’s a car loan, a mortgage loan, car insurance or even the rent on an apartment, the lower your credit, the more you’ll pay.  Lenders and financial service providers rely on credit scores to define if a customer can actually pay his or her bills on time. Those who skip paying bills or delay  payments are considered a risk by nearly all lenders.

Most lenders consider a FICO credit score of 640 or below as poor credit, so if your credit score is below that, chances are you will pay more for personal loans, credit cards and other financial options. In many instances, you may even be denied credit, so keeping your credit score at or above 740 is important.

Here are five things that will cost you more:

1. Your Mortgage:  

While it’s nearly impossible to get a mortgage with bad credit, in the event that you are able to do so, your interest rate will be quite a bit higher than someone with a higher FICO score.  Over the course of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, that comes out to tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the full thirty years.

2. Credit Card:

Once again, that low credit score may keep you from getting that credit card, but if you do, expect to pay interest rates up to 35%.

3. Auto Loans:

Automotive finance companies will definitely charge a higher interest rate if you have a low FICO score!  Those ads you see on TV only apply to “well qualified” customers. The better the FICO score, the better the interest rate you’ll get.

4. Insurance:

Surprisingly, your credit score also affects interest rates on your home and your car!  Most insurers believe that both homeowners and drivers with excellent credit scores are likely to file fewer claims and get into fewer accidents, while those with lower credit scores statistically file more claims and this makes them riskier clients.

5. Apartment Rentals:

Most landlords check credit scores, and with a low credit score, you may have to put down a larger security deposit or pay a higher monthly rental rate.

 

Your best course of action?  Remember, your credit score is extremely important.  Never miss an opportunity to improve your score, make your payments on time, and keep your credit card balances below 33% of your total credit.  If you’re just starting to work on your score, it will take time, but don’t give up!  Keep working on your credit and you will see improvement.

Back to School

Now that summer vacations are nearing an end, and we’re all in the midst of late summer, with all it’s heat and humidity, it’s time to start thinking about that next big hurdle. Getting the kids ready to go back to school! Not only is it stressful, what with all the lists of things they have to have, but it’s also very expensive.

From new clothing, new shoes, and, of course, ALL of those school supplies, you can spend a small fortune before they ever set foot in the door of the school next month! (And this does not even include all those book fees, lab fees, classroom fees, and the cost of extracurricular activities! What’s a parent who is strapped for cash to do?

Here’s an idea! Why no do what our parents, and even their parents, did? Instead of trudging through the big box stores, the mall, and the outlet stores, why not order most of what the kids need online? With the right catalog shopping site, you can get almost everything they need AND you don’t have to shell out all that cash at a time when most of us are broke from summer vacation!

Catalog shopping… I know you remember it. Your Mom would get these great big catalogs in the mail, and you’d spend hours looking through the clothes, shoes, toys, and stuff, dreaming of all the things you wanted. Then, she’d place an order, either over the phone or by mailing in a form, and in a couple of weeks, the order would be delivered. Opening those boxes was almost as good as Christmas morning! Of course, now you can place your order online, and most places deliver within DAYS instead of weeks, but the excitement is still there and so is the value. These days, most catalog sites have competitive pricing, free shipping, and LOW interest rates… all the things you need when you’re trying to save money and get the kids back in school!

Think this might be your back to school solution?

Worried that your credit is not perfect? Many of our catalog shopping vendors will work with you to ensure that you’re able to buy what you need, and even better, you just might be able to improve your credit score in the long run!

Need a New Ride?

Summer’s here!  Who’s ready for a road trip?  A vacation?  A day trip?  How’s your ride these days?

Summer driving can be just as hard on your car as winter driving.  Between the hot temperatures, hot pavement, and the additional driving we tend to do in the summer months, you might find that you need to trade in your old ride on something a little more reliable.  But, before you even think about driving down to that car lot, you might want to consider how you’ll finance that new set of wheels.  In case you haven’t already figured it out, the car dealership isn’t always the best place to finance a new car or truck.  In fact, unless you have excellent credit, it could be the worst place you could go when you need a car loan!

Did you know that dealerships often get referral fees for steering customers to certain loan companies?   Those fees nearly always get passed on to the customer in one way or another.  And sometimes the interest rates that they offer you aren’t always the best interest rate available!   Not to mention the payments those higher interest rates can mean!  What should you do?

Before you go to the car lot, before you pick out that new (or even just new to you) vehicle, know your options!  Know what you can borrow, know what you can afford, and know what you’ll pay!

Just like you shop around for the best credit card offers, you can also shop around for the best car loans:

Going on Vacation?

Are you planning a vacation this year?  Going to the mountains?  The beach?   Driving?  Flying?  Staying in a vacation rental?  Hotel?  Camping?  How are you planning to pay for things while you’re on vacation?

While it is really tempting to pay for everything in cash when you go on vacation, in reality, it’s just not a good idea.  Not only do you run the risk of losing you money if you use actual cash, but you also risk a lot more.  What happens if your cash is lost or, even worse, stolen?  What happens if you run out of money?  What happens if you’re cheated?  Maybe you check in to your rental, pay your bill up front like they all want you to, then find out that you’ve been had?  What happens if the rental is not what you paid for?  What happens if you have to leave early?  The list can go on and on and on.

And truthfully, using your debit card is possibly even worse than paying with cash.  Why?  Because your debit card is connected directly to your bank account.  And there is no place on earth where your debit or credit card information is more likely to be stolen than in an area that caters to tourism.  It’s a prime location for dishonest retail and restaurant employees to lift your information, it’s a prime location for pickpockets and scammers, and YOU are more likely to misplace or even lose your card when you’re in a strange place.  Even though you have a certain amount of protection against fraud, it can take as much as ten days to sort it out if you are a victim of fraud!  What would you do for ten days without any money?  The answer?  It’s pretty obvious.

Use a credit card to pay for everything that you possibly can while you are on vacation!  Not only are you better protected against fraud, theft, or loss, but you can even take advantage of some awards cards and get money back for all your purchases!   Not sure which card to use?

Take a look at these offers –


 

Do Your Credit Cards Work for You?

Do your credit cards actually work for you or against you? I know that sounds strange, but when you think about credit as a whole, your credit score either helps you or hurts you. Likewise, the credit cards you carry can either help or hurt you, too.

For example, your credit might be pretty good, but if you don’t have enough credit available, it can damage your credit score. You see, your credit score is calculated based on a number of variables, one of those being how much credit you have available. And if you don’t have enough, it can hurt your score. So, while you might be limiting your credit card use, if you’re still over the recommended 30% utilization, then you probably don’t have enough credit.

But how do you know if you have enough credit? One of the best ways is to look at how much credit other people in your credit range have. And that’s pretty easy to do with all of the free credit tools available these days. Almost every one of the free sites offers a comparison of your credit versus others in your credit range, all you have to do is log in and look. Then, once you’ve figured out whether you have the right amount of credit, you’ll want to take a look at the actual credit cards you have in your wallet.

Do they offer a decent interest rate for your credit score? If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a look at your interest rates, or if your credit score has improved since you last looked, you might want to take a good hard look because you could be paying more interest than you should.

Do you have any rewards credit cards? Are the rewards that you’re getting the right rewards for you? Would a cash back card be better or should you get a travel rewards card? It all depends on your lifestyle. What works best for someone else may not be the best choice for you.

Remember, your credit should fit your needs, and it should work for you, improving your overall financial picture. Your credit should not hold you back, keeping you from doing or having the things that you want or need to make your life the best that it can be. So, if you haven’t examined your credit cards lately, there’s no better time than the present!

36 Weeks Until Christmas Eve

36 weeks from today is Christmas Eve!

Yes, that was the post on my Facebook News Feed just a few minutes ago.  Even though that seems like a long time from now, it’s only nine months, or a mere 18 paydays if you’re paid twice a month.  Now that’s scary, isn’t it?  Chances are you’re still paying off the bills from LAST Christmas, too.

Well, this year, why not get the drop on your Christmas shopping by starting early!  I know, April seems like you’re starting way too early, but think about it.  If you start now, you could actually have Christmas bought and paid for by the time December rolls around.  Or, at the very least, you could have your Christmas budget all worked out AND have the credit you’ll need to actually be able to afford Christmas all in place.

But wait.  What if your credit is no where near where you need it to be?

Believe it or not, you still have some pretty good options.  And these are options that might even help you improve your credit score between now and then.  Of course, secured credit cards are always a great way to build your credit score, but did you know that catalog shopping sites are also a great way to work on your credit score?

That’s right, catalog shopping sites not only work with most people to get them the credit they need, but they also report regularly to most of the major credit bureaus.  And if you are a responsible customer who uses their credit wisely and pays all their bills on time, most catalog shopping sites will increase your available credit over time.  That increases your available credit, which helps your credit score, too!

So, go ahead, start thinking about Christmas 2019 now!

You might actually find that you’re in a much better position to actually afford this year’s Christmas shopping than you think.

Ready for Summer?

Now that Spring Break is behind most of us, it’s time to start thinking about summer!  That’s right, summer!  And you know what summer means?

SUMMER VACATION!

Wait.  You’re not sure you’re going to be able to take a vacation this year?  You’re still working on your budget?  Trying to figure out how you will afford a vacation this summer? If that sounds like you, we might just have something that can help you save enough money to take that vacation!

In fact, we might just be able to help you save a lot of money.  It all depends on where you are right now in your finances.  Although most people don’t realize it, one of the easiest ways to save money is by cutting interest rates on credit cards.  That’s right.  If you can cut your interest rate, take advantage of an introductory 0% interest rate, or get just the right rewards card, you can save money without even trying!  No cutting back on anything.  No doing without.  Almost NOTHING changes, except you’ll either have more money in your pocket each month OR you’ll pay those credit cards off much sooner.  Either way, you’re saving money, or earning rewards!

Still not convinced?  Why not let us help you decide?

Check Out our New Offers

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we’ve updated nearly every page on our site!


With new tools, better offers, and more information, it’s much easier now to find just the right credit card for your needs, your finances, and your lifestyle!

And if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on our site, we’ve even included links to credit card matching sites where you can find even MORE offers, like these:

0% Interest on Balance Transfers and Purchases

Airline, Hotel & Travel Rewards

Cash Back, Bonus & Other Rewards

Credit Cards for EVERY credit level, from Excellent to Extremely Poor

Business Credit Cards & So much more!

If you’re serious about improving your finances, you owe it to yourself to take a look at what we have for you today.

Have You Looked at Your Credit Cards Lately?

As you’re going through your receipts for filing your taxes, one of the things that you might want to consider looking at, along with everything else, are your credit card statements for the past year… How much are you paying for interest? How many annual fees do you pay? Has your credit changed? Do you have the available credit that you need to cover any emergencies that might crop up in the new year?

If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions, now is the best time to sit down and study those bills. Make a detailed list of each credit card that you have, showing the balance on the card, the interest rate that you’re being charged, any fees that you pay, any rewards that the card offers, and how much available credit that you have on each one.

Then, take a look at your credit score over the past year. Has it changed? Is your credit score better now than it was six months or even a year ago? If so, you might qualify for a better credit card, with a lower interest rate, more rewards, and a low or even no annual fee. If you don’t have a credit card, and your score has improved, now might be the best time to apply for a credit card. (If you can only get a secured card, you might want to consider using a little bit of your tax refund to get started with a secured card!)

Once you’ve listed all the details of your current credit, then you might want to consider upgrading one or more of your credit cards to a card with features that are more aligned with your needs and your current credit score.

Here are our best picks for credit cards to give you an idea of what’s out there:

Budgets, Taxes & Your Fresh Start

Once again, it’s tax time in the USA, and even though you’re digging through all of your receipts, statements, and paperwork from last year, it’s never too early to start thinking about this year!   If you’re like most people, as you go through all those papers, you’re looking at what you spent on things like groceries, electronics, utilities, and credit cards, and it can get pretty depressing.  You look at all those payments, and you start thinking that it’s really hard to ever get ahead when you’re paying so much interest every month.  You wonder if you’ll ever get everything paid off so you can relax and maybe even have a little bit of money left over in your budget at the end of each month.

Well, 2019 just might be the year that you are able to do that, if you’re ready to take the bull by the horns and make a few smart moves with your credit cards!

First and foremost, if you ever want to get them paid off, you’ve got to stop using them!  Gather up all your credit cards, take them out of your wallet or purse, and put them away.  That’s right, put them away.  Put them in a box, file, or on a shelf, but don’t carry them around any more.  If you don’t have them with you, you won’t be able to use them for those impulse buys!  And, chances are, if you have to go home to get one of your credit cards, you won’t go back to the store and use it.

Secondly, you’ve got to make a plan to pay off the bills that you already have, and you have a couple of options to accomplish this.  You can utilize money you have in savings, you can consider balance transfer options with introductory rates, or you can take out a personal loan.  All three of these options have both pros and cons – using your savings can eat up the cash that you have on hand, and should you have an emergency expense later on, you’ll end up having to use a credit card to pay that expense.  Taking advantage of a balance transfer option on a new or existing card is a great option as long as you are able to pay the balance off within the allotted time frame – if not, you’ll face a huge interest charge when the introductory period ends.  And finally, taking out a personal loan does involve interest charges, but typically those interest rates are less than credit card interest rates, so you do save in the end.

Which option is for you?  While the balance transfer is a good option for those who don’t have much credit card debt to pay off, when you need to consolidate a lot of credit card debt, a personal loan is usually the easiest way to pay off everything, lower your monthly payments, and still keep your emergency cash in savings.

Think a personal loan is the right choice for your financial situation? Take a look at these lenders and see if one fits the bill: