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Stop the Endless Flow of Credit Card Offers

If you are like the average American, chances are that your mailbox gets filled with offers from various credit card companies, with each of them sending you multiple offers constantly for their latest and greatest cards. While you may be “pre-approved” and “specially selected” for the offers in question, the truth of the matter is that if you already have a necessary amount of credit, these pieces of junk mail serve only to clog up your mailbox and further contribute to the wasting of natural resources. The following outlines some simple steps you can take to eliminate unnecessary offers from being mailed to you.

Have Fun At Their Expense

While this might not be the most effective way to remove yourself from subscription and mailing lists, one way to deal with spam is to fight back by sending your own. Many offers include a pre-paid postage stamp to be used to send back any completed applications. Instead of sending back a completed application, you can do what I do and find a large box. Fill that box with junk and heavy objects (I personally like to place rocks in it) and slap the postage label back on it. Drop them off at the post office and let the credit card company pick up the tab for it! Just remember to keep the total weight of any one package under 75 pounds (the maximum weight that can be mailed without freight options).

Contact the Credit Bureaus

Each credit bureau – according to federal law – can distribute pre-screened lists of consumers eligible for credit cards to all the major credit card companies. You can request to be removed from these lists by inquiring in writing to each major credit bureau (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). There are also instructions in fine print on each credit card offer you receive; you may have to scan for the instructions, but they’re there. Normally people just throw out the offers without looking for a way to remove themselves from the list.

Opt Out Formally

Since 1990, there has been the option to “opt out” using a national database. You can either visit their website or call directly (1-888-5-OPTOUT) to file a formal request to be removed from these pre-screened lists. This service is operated by the main credit bureaus and filing with them should take care of the problem if the other methods above do not work.

Secrets To Get Low Interest Rate Credit Card From Current Provider

You probably have heard many times that to get the best credit card, you need to do intensive research. It could be done online or offline. However, the thing is that you should not settle for one prospect provider or accept what seems to be an attractive offer. By taking time to do research, you will save regrets after seeing that there are more favourable offer compared to what you accepted.

One of the primary considerations in choosing credit card is its low interest rate. It could be an introductory offer or it could be a seasonal offer. If you accept the offer taking into account other benefits of the card, then you need to stick to it as card hopping from one provider to another may ruin your credit score. But what if you saw that other providers are offering low interest rate credit card while you are tied up with higher interest in your current provider? Can you do something to lower the interest rate?

The answer is yes. With strong competition from various credit card companies, you as a customer become valuable to a company. So if others are offering low rates, it is possible that your company will also offer you low interest rate credit card as well. You can also ask or negotiate if your credit card company is not offering it.

You should have a good payment record. There is no better sign for the providers to give you low interest than when they see that you have been consistently paying your dues and fees.
You have favourable rapport with the provider. This does not mean that you should always be pleasing to the company even if you have to complain, or that you should comply with every bill even if it is questionable. This simply means that if you established a good relationship with your insurance provider and aims at working for the best of both parties, then you will be mostly likely to be granted with low interest rates.

What can Bad Credit Credit Cards Really Offer You?

Guaranteed approval credit cards are more known by many as credit cards for bad credits. The reason behind this name is that these credit cards are issued by companies easily regardless of the credit history of that person. You can acquire this card even if you have bad credit or you do not have any credit.

Most of the credit card companies issuing these bad credit credit cards would require security. One form of security would be an advance deposit in an account when you would sign up. This deposit will allow the issuers to gain access to a source of payment if you would fail in paying your debt as scheduled.

Obviously, the security deposit will define the credit limit of your card. A minimum range of $300 to $1000 or even higher is the usual security deposit.

Guaranteed approval credit cards will help rebuild your credit history, ?which is why it is very useful to those with bad credits. This card can be used to prove your credit worthiness if you will pay your monthly balances on time and remain within the credit limit.

Although you will be paying higher interest rates, this will allow you to resolve your bad credit. That is why you must take time in comparing the cards to see which one suits you. Ask for recommendations from other people or explore credit card reviews and not just sign up on the first offer that came through the mail. Make sure all the terms and conditions of the card are reasonable, including the fine print.

When I had my very first credit card, I had difficulty finding one that would approve my application. So, I asked myself if I should apply for a bad credit credit card. Although it is true that having bad credit and having no credit at all are two different matters, there are companies eager to approve individuals with no credit history.

If you have a cosigner, you can establish you own credit record. Your cosigner must have a good reputation and must be willing to vouch for you. It is best to look in your family or friends for a cosigner.

Lastly, if you still cannot acquire a credit card for yourself, then have a guaranteed approval credit card. Just make sure that the company would report your credit records to the major credit bureaus since this is the only way that you can establish your own credit history. You must know that this card will provide this feature before signing up.

Take A Bite Out Of Your Credit Card Debt

If you have found yourself with thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt, the sudden realization can be a disheartening one. As time goes on, you begin to feel trapped like a prisoner, barely keeping your head above water from month to month. The great news for anyone battling credit card debt is that there are numerous options through which you can begin to get your finances under control. These options will not only save yourself from undue stress but will also help you save money in the long run.

Up Your Minimum Payments

This may seem like a chore, but I’ve never met one person who couldn’t cut at least a few dollars more to the credit card companies each month. By doing this, you will eat into the interest faster and pay these cards down quicker than by doing nothing different. If your monthly minimum is $50 for a credit card, upping it to $100 will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars over the course of the debt. It’s not just about paying it off faster, but about paying it off for less as well.

Shift Debts to Other Credit Cards

If you currently have debt across multiple credit cards, you should be examining which cards have lower interest rates and which ones are higher. If your lower interest cards have available credit on them, shifting your higher-interest debts to the lower-interest credit card will help you avoid unnecessary interest and pay the debts down faster. Generally, there is a one-time charge for a balance transfer (2-3% of the balance), but it is worth it when moving debt from a credit card with 19% interest to one with 12% interest.

Use Savings to Pay It Off

While this is generally not a good idea, if you are up to your eyeballs in debt and cannot function month to month, cashing out your savings accounts to pay off credit card debt may be a better (or the best) option. You no longer will have your savings to rely on but you can zero out your credit card debt and avoid unnecessary interest that would otherwise continue to hound you for months and years to come. Paying off a debt at 15% interest is the same as earning 15% in an investment as you will be saving all that money that otherwise would be going to the credit card company in the form of interest month after month.

Credit Card Companies Lowering Credit Limit Below Existing Balances

I’ve had a store credit card for a particular home improvement store for a few years. My available credit was $2,000. The card went unused for about a year. When I moved into a new home last summer, I had reason to use the card – I needed a washing machine and refrigerator. I also decided to splurge and get a portable dishwasher (since there was no way to get the less expensive, counter-installed kind). My total charges were $1,543 and some change.

Each month my credit card statement arrived in the mail, and I would send what I could – sometimes it was just the minimum payment, sometimes I paid extra – but the company always got their payment. I have not stepped foot into the store since I bought these appliances, and have not used the credit card at all since they were purchased in August of 2008.

Imagine my surprise then, when my January 2009 statement arrived with an “over-the-limit” fee of $39 on it! How could I be over the limit when I haven’t made any new purchases?

Apparently, the credit card company lowered the credit limit below the amount I had already spent. My new credit limit was $1,090 – and I still had a balance of $1,100 on the card. I didn’t even think this would be legal – after all, they gave me a credit limit of $2,000 and I didn’t spend that much. I hadn’t made any new purchases and then they “took back” their offer to spend the money basically. I could understand lowering the limit to “reduce their risk” as the credit card companies are reporting as their reason for lowering credit limits of cardholders – but to lower it below what is already spent?! It’s sort of like if you bought groceries on sale at Walmart today, and got a phone call tomorrow saying you had to come in and pay the difference between the sale prices and the current prices because the items you purchased were no longer on sale.

After contacting the credit card company, I was told the terms and service allows them to change their credit limits at any time, to any amount they want – and that just about everyone’s credit limit had been lowered because the bank had to reduce their risk. They claimed to have sent me a letter to inform me of the change – but I didn’t receive one. Just the statement that indicated I was over-the-limit. After calling customer service, I did receive a form letter a few days later that said something to the effect of:

due to items found in your credit report, we have lowered your credit limit. If you have any questions contact the credit reporting agency.

The letter didn’t match what the customer service representative told me was the reason for the credit limit decrease – but there is absolutely nothing I can do short of paying the account in full and avoiding the store and it’s credit card all together from here on out – which I fully intend to do. This is a lesson in why you can’t afford to carry a balance on a credit card (even with low or no interest offers!) until the new Credit Card rules take affect in July of 2010 – which will prohibit card companies from doing things like this.