Many people fail to read the fine print when applying for credit cards. Even after they are approved, many people also fail to carefully read their statements. This could lead to disaster, as many credit card companies put clauses in the contracts which allow them to raise your interest rate for many different reasons. The fine print on a credit card document can be hard to read and tedious, and it is no accident that it was designed this way. Credit card companies make billions off the ignorance of their customers.
Back To School!
Even though the language used on credit card documents is complex, it is important that you understand it. It is something you agree to, and you don’t want to agree to something you don’t understand. Most credit card companies don’t have your best interests in mind, and this is why it is important to protect yourself. Most people are under the false assumption that credit card companies will only raise interest rates when you are late making your payments. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
Who Needs More Credit Card Debt?
With the average American family owing $10,000 in credit card debt, the industry is one of the most profitable in the world. As the minimum monthly payments are increased, this will insure that the credit card industry earns billions of dollars each year. The new bankruptcy law making it harder for people to get out of financial trouble will insure that the losses suffered by the credit card companies will be greatly reduced.
Save Your Credit Report
Many credit card companies will look at your credit report for any negative information. If they find it the interest rate on your credit card will be increased, often without your notification. Unless you read your bill carefully, you will probably not notice. Negative things on your credit report could be far more than just late payments. Bankruptcy or other problems may also be used as a pretext to increase the interest rate on your credit card. Your interest rate could be raised for something as frivolous as having too many accounts, or having too high of a balance.
This is unfair to the customer. Your interest rate shouldn’t be raised for something that has nothing to do with your credit card. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you want to do is call your credit card company and demand that the interest rate be lowered. If you are making your payments on time, the company has no reason not to lower it. If they refuse you should switch to another company. The market is highly competitive, and you shouldn’t have to stick with a company which raises the interest rate for any reason.
Keep Your Credit Report Up to Date
You should also check your credit report on a regular basis. It may have errors on it which can cause your interest rate to increase. It is also important to carefully read your credit card statement each month. If you see something which looks strange, immediately call your credit card company to ask about it. When you apply for a credit card, read the contract carefully and ask about the interest rate and what causes it to increase.
Credit card companies make large amounts of money from people who don’t read their bills or contracts. It is your responsibility to make sure the information on your bill is accurate and correct. Credit card companies are prone to making mistakes, and will put clauses in their agreements which allows them to earn more money from their customers. It is important to check your information carefully to make sure there are no errors.