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The cost of your credit

POSTED IN ADVICE ON TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2019

Use these tips to pick the right credit card.

If you’re looking for a credit card, it’s important to choose one that works for you. Sometimes offers that sound really good – say, a 0% interest rate for a year – end up being not so great in the end. Once that promotion is over, will you be stuck with a high rate, an annual fee and other charges?

Protect yourself by reviewing what’s called the Schumer Box. This is a standard table of rates, fees, terms and conditions that must be included by law when you receive a credit card offer. Use the Schumer Box to answer these questions as you compare cards:

An example Schumer Box.

  • What’s the interest rate? Start with the annual percentage rate, or APR, for your purchases. Make sure you check and compare the normal APR in addition to any promotional rate. A lower rate means less interest when you carry a balance from month to month.
  • How much do balance transfers cost? There can be a fee associated with balance transfers as well as a separate interest rate. Moving debt from higher-rate cards to lower-rate ones can save you money on interest.
  • How much do cash advances cost? Unlike your regular purchases, cash advances usually start accruing interest the day the withdrawal is made. There may also be a fee each time.
  • Is there an annual fee? There are many options available that don’t charge one. If you choose a card that does, make sure the benefits you’re getting outweigh the cost.
  • What are the other fees? Most lenders will charge you extra if you make late payments or go over your credit limit.
  • Are there surprises? Reading the fine print isn’t particularly fun, but it’s better to know about any other restrictions upfront.

Using the Schumer Box to answer these questions will help you decide which credit card is right for you. If you’d like to learn more about Veridian’s Visa® cards, read about our options or schedule an appointment today. If you'd like to talk about your unique financial situation, fill out the form below.

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