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Low Interest Credit Cards - Make Sure You Have The Cheapest Rate
Making sure that you pay the lowest rate of interest chargeable on your credit card usage is vital if you want to maintain an effective money management scheme. As such, knowing how to make sure you pay the lowest interest rate on your credit card should be viewed as an essential element to deciding which credit card you should select.
As we all know, credit card companies are not in the business of giving away a free service and one of the ways in which they make a big part of their income is charging interest on any balance you carry-over from one payment period to another. Although this interest is charged monthly, interest accrues on interest and consequently credit card companies are required (in most cases by consumer law) to advertise their interest rates not as a monthly sum, for example 1.9%, but rather as annual figure, for example 22%. Because the interest rate advertised is calculated over the period of a year, it is known as the Annual Percentage Rate, or APR for short, and is the quickest way of telling which credit card company charges the lowest rate of interest for using their card.
Having said this, there are a couple of additional things you need to keep in mind when comparing the APR advertised by different card issuers, namely:
Does the issuer you are considering using charge any annual membership fees? This is an important question because some issuers can ‘hide’ fees payable for using their card in the form of an annual fee. Indirectly this allows them to lower their APR comparable to those issuers who do not charge membership fees. However, when you include the membership fee as part of the interest rate, often the amount you are being charged is higher than if you had decided to use the services of a provider that charged a slightly higher APR, but no annual membership fee.
Your credit rating will affect the interest rate you pay on nearly all your borrowing and a credit card is no different in this regard. If you have a good credit rating, you should be expecting to pay less APR. Conversely, if you have a bad credit rating, you should not be too surprised if you find that you are being asked to pay a higher APR.
It would be hard to emphasis how important making at least the minimum repayment on your credit card each month is. If you do not, you will likely find that your provider will increase the rate of interest you are being charged on your account. Sometimes this can occur even though it may not have been your fault that the payment was made late, for example you made the payment but it was received late, and without the provider being required to inform you that this default caused the interest rate on your credit card to change. It is, therefore, imperative that you read the small print of any application form you complete to check and see if the interest rate will change because of any non-payment or late payment and if the issuer will be obligated to inform you that the interest rate has changed.
Of course, the only way to make sure that you pay no APR on your credit card usage is to ensure that you clear your credit card balance each statement payment date. Unfortunately, however, most of us are cannot afford the luxury of paying off our credit balance each statement period and the card issuers know this. So, to make sure you are paying the lowest APR possible, read the fine print of the application form and make sure there are no hidden extra fees or charges and that the rate of interest you are paying really is the card’s advertised APR!
About the Author: Joseph Kenny writes for the Loans Store and offer more information on personal loans and other loan topics available on site.
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