Before consumers apply for their first credit card, it is important they educate themselves and become familiar with the common terms. Our debt counselors can’t stress this enough. By understanding basic credit card terms, consumers can avoid costly mistakes in the future. This can effectively save them a lot of time and money. Knowledge about common credit card terms can help you get on the right foot.
When opening a credit card, it is important that consumers are credit smart. Also, they need to understand all the responsibilities and terms that come with it. Credit cards are an excellent way to build credit if they are used responsibly. Consumer credit is a part and parcel of a person’s financials. The knowledge you have on your credit cards and other financial elements is crucial for better management.
Common Credit Card Terms
- Credit Score – A credit score is a three-digit number that indicates how trustworthy a consumer is for a credit card or other loans. Credit scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. The higher the credit score, the more trustworthy the consumer.
- Annual Fee – Some credit card issuers charge an annual fee for use of the credit card.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – The APR is the interest rate on their credit card balance throughout the year. Although this is calculated daily, any interest charged is forgiven when the balance is paid in full each month.
- Minimum Payment – The minimum payment is the least amount a consumer must pay on their bill each billing cycle without defaulting.
- Credit Line – A line of credit is the amount of money the card issuer will allow the consumer to borrow.
- Secured Credit Cards – Secured credit cards are designed for those with little to no credit. These require a secured payment to be used as collateral if the bills are not paid. Many of these cards come with high fees.
- Unsecured Credit Cards – Unsecured credit cards are the most common and do not require collateral. Eligibility for these cards is based on a consumer’s credit history and income.
- Credit Utilization Ratio – The credit utilization ratio compares the amount of credit used to the total amount of credit available. Therefore, lower ratios are better for consumers’ credit scores.
Credit is a big portion of your overall finances. Therefore understanding all nooks and crannies about it will let you have a holistic approach to managing your finances. Most credit card debt counseling requests come from consumers due to the lack of understanding of credit usage. Therefore, Knowing the terms and understanding fine print will always be an advantage.
If you are seeking credit card counseling services, sign up for a free credit counseling session with us today!