How To Qualify For Credit Cards
Achieving my goals with Credit Cards:
The best credit card for you is the one that meets your needs and incurs the lowest interest charges and fees. Your use of credit cards can have a significant impact on your FICO® Score. Their proper use can establish your credit history, repair a bad credit history, or enable you to pay down existing debt faster.
Make sure that you choose a credit card with terms that best meet your needs, and that you qualify for.
Repair Your Credit
Your history of using credit cards and paying them on time can have a big impact on your FICO Score. If you don’t have an established credit history or have a bad credit standing, getting and using a Secured Credit Card can be one of the best ways to establish, or re-establish, good credit.
A Secured Credit Card has its credit limit ‘secured’ by a security deposit made by the consumer into special savings account. The available credit limit is based on how large the security deposit is. You are likely to be approved for a Secured Credit Card since most don’t require a co-applicant, but all require the establishment of the security deposit. If a Secured Credit Card is reported to the three major credit bureaus, it is reported the same as any other credit card.
In contrast, a Prepaid Debit Card (sometimes simply called a “Prepaid Card”) is a variation of a debit card where the funds available for purchases have been pre-loaded onto the card. It functions in a transaction the same as a debit card for a checking account. Common types of Prepaid Debit Cards are gift cards and rebate cards. Some parents will provide their teenagers with Prepaid Debit Cards issued by Visa, MasterCard or American Express as a means to teach responsible card-based purchasing habits without the parent having to complete each transaction. However, unlike most Secured Credit Cards, a Prepaid Debit Card is not reported to the credit bureaus and its use will not have any impact on your credit standing.
How Secured Credit Cards work
Secured Credit Cards are a useful tool to establish a credit history or repair bad credit history. Understanding how they work in comparison to debit and more traditional cards. Secured credit cards require you to make a deposit equal to the credit amount you will be allowed to establish. For example, if your deposit is $200, your available credit amount will also be $200. The advantage of using a secured credit card is that some will report to all 3 bureaus every month and will prove to creditors your ability to effectively use your available credit in a responsible manner, increasing your chances to qualify for secured credit cards.
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Consolidate Credit Card Debt
If you have large balances across multiple credit cards, consolidating those balances onto a single card with a lower interest rate and fees can make that debt easier to manage and pay down. Balance Transfer Cards often have low introductory interest rates and fees for transferring balances from other cards. Look closely at all terms and fees on a Balance Transfer Card, including those for new purchases, to make sure that how you plan to pay down the consolidated debt and use the card will enable you to save money without incurring additional fees or interest.
Save Money Using a Credit Card
If you plan to make new purchases and pay them off over time, a credit card with the lowest interest rate for new purchases may be the best for you. If you tend to use a credit card for convenience when making transactions and pay the balance off each month, a card with cash-back or rewards may be more important to you than one with the lowest interest rate. Look carefully at the terms for a rewards card to make sure that you will be able to redeem and use the rewards, such as airlines miles, without too much difficulty. Often a cash-back card is the easiest to redeem and therefore the most rewarding.