Criminals can install theft devices on top of gas station payment machines to steal your credit card information. To help reduce your risk, choose pumps closer to the gas station’s convenience store and check the machine for anything out of the ordinary before putting your card in.
Some credit cards charge a fee (typically between 1% and 3%) for every purchase someone makes in a foreign country or through a bank based abroad. If you’re shopping for a new credit card, you may want to consider which ones have foreign transaction fees and which ones don’t, especially if you travel abroad.
There are three national credit bureaus that collect information about you, and they obtain credit data independently. So while you might assume that your three credit reports and credit scores look exactly alike, they can actually differ significantly.
Credit scores are important indicators of your financial health. Lenders use credit scores as major tools to determine:
- Whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan.
- What type of interest rate you will pay.
While a credit score is a key determinant of your creditworthiness, lenders also examine the information on your credit report and your loan application. Regularly checking your credit report enables you to:
- Be informed of the most up-to-date information in your credit history.
- Correct any inaccuracies, thus ensuring that your credit data is a true depiction of your credit record and increasing your chances of receiving credit under the best possible terms.
The date that you opened your oldest account is too recent.
Your oldest account is still too recent. A credit file containing older accounts will have a positive impact on your credit score because it demonstrates that you are experienced managing credit.
What You Can Do
Don’t open more accounts than you actually need. Research shows that new accounts indicate greater risk. Your score will benefit as your accounts get older. Continue reading Negative Score Factors
Bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean that an auto loan is out of reach. Though lenders prefer borrowers with a credit score of 760 or higher, you may still be able to purchase a car with an imperfect credit history. Higher interest rates will probably accompany your loan, but shopping around and comparing offers can help you to find a fair price.
Poor credit may cause higher interest rates, but there are plenty of ways to save money on your car loan. For starters, try choosing a shorter term loan. A 3-year loan will likely carry a lower interest rate than a 5-year loan. Your monthly premiums will be higher on the 3-year plan, but you’ll pay off the loan faster and pay less overall in the end. Also, consider buying a new car rather than one that is used — a loan for the latter is usually more expensive.
Now that the Federal Reserve decided to increase the federal interest rate in December, it’s important to know how the recent and future rate hikes will affect your mortgage rates.
Click here to continue reading about the following subjects:
- Effects of the Fed Hike
- Existing Fixed-Rate Mortgages
- Adjustable Rate Mortgages
- Future Home Buyers
- Refinancing Your Home
Your credit card’s grace period is the number of days you have to fully pay your bill to avoid finance charges. Typically, though, grace periods only apply to purchases you’ve made and not to other kinds of transactions (e.g., balance transfers and cash advances).
If you’re thinking about refinancing, at least part of your decision should be based on how long you think you’ll stay at your current home. That way, you can figure out whether you’ll recoup the up-front refinancing costs with enough monthly savings at the lower, refinanced rate.
Shop around before you transfer your credit card balance to a new card. Look for 0% intro APR on the balance you want to transfer. Check for any balance transfer fees.