Posts Tagged: ‘high-interest credit cards’

Three Simple Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

February 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many consumers know the problem with using credit cards is that oftentimes you end up paying for purchases after you buy.  The average interest rate on a credit card is 13.51%- if you carry over a balance.  As of September 2016, cardholders carried on average a balance of $7,527.  When you pay off your credit cards in full or have your debt discharged in bankruptcy, you have more disposable income for your financial goals and can better plan for your future.  But how do you get there?

Here are three simple steps to eliminating your credit card debt.

Step one: The obvious- Stop using your credit cards.  Pay in cash for all of your purchases.  For online purchases use PayPal or your debit card.  Using a “cash only” system allows you to spend what you have.

Step two: Make extra payments toward the principal. Lenders are required to show you how long it would take to pay off your credit card if you only made the minimum payments.  Request your statements be mailed to you, online you may not be able to see this number.  It will certainly give you a wake-up call.  For example, the average American with $7,527 in debt, would spend 11 years paying the card off if they only paid the minimum balance.  The interest would cost you $2,869!

Step three: Set financial goals and SAVE for them.  Set up savings accounts for your big purchases. For example, if you are going to need a new car in the next 6 months or are planning a family vacation this summer.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Read THIS before Using a Store Credit Card to Shop this Holiday Season

November 10, 2016 Posted by kingcade

If you are planning to finance a portion of your holiday purchases, you may be enticed to open a store credit card.  With the attractive-sounding 0% interest rates, competitive rewards programs, even a discount on your first purchase, the offer sounds too good to be true, right?

That’s because it is.  Here are some important facts consumers need to know about store credit cards.

The Truth about “No Interest” Financing:

There are two kinds of no interest financing. When you sign up for a bank credit card with a 0% introductory APR, you are not charged any interest on your purchases until that time runs out.  However, store credit cards typically use what’s called “deferred interest” financing. This means that during the introductory no-interest period, interest on your purchases is accumulating, but will not be charged as long as you pay the balance in full.

Here’s an example:  Let’s say that you finance a $3,000 jewelry purchase using 24-month deferred interest financing, but the store’s credit card has a 27.99% standard APR. The account has minimum monthly payments of $100, so by only paying the minimum, you would have a remaining balance of $600 once the 24-month interest-free period runs out. However, you would also have approximately $1,000 in deferred interest charges added to your 25th bill because you failed to pay off the entire balance in time. Deferred interest can also be added to your bill if you make a late payment one month.

The Interest will Cost You:

When signing up for a store credit card, make sure and read the cardholder’s agreement, specifically the section that tells you the card’s interest rate. According to a recent report, the average regular APR of a store card is 26.72%, more than 11 percentage points above the overall national credit card average APR of 15.07%.  You can expect store cards to have interest rates that are significantly higher than those of general-use credit cards.

A Hard Credit Inquiry Can Affect your Credit Score:

When you agree to apply at the checkout counter, your credit report will be hit with a credit inquiry. Although one inquiry is usually not a big deal, it is not something you want to do if you are thinking of purchasing a home or new car anytime soon. According to FICO, one credit inquiry can have little to no impact on some consumers’ credit scores.  For others, it can take five points off your score. When applying for a mortgage, five points could put you into the next interest rate range, costing you thousands over the life of your mortgage.

Rewards are Limited:

Store credit cards usually offer excellent rewards on in-store purchases. However, these credit cards usually offer no rewards for spending out of store.

Bottom line: Beware of the higher-than-average interest rates on these store credit cards, and the consequences of carrying a balance past the end of the deferred-interest period.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.fool.com/credit-cards/2016/11/06/read-this-before-using-a-store-credit-card-for-you.aspx

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclements/2015/11/29/store-credit-cards-can-be-dangerous/#6c1763596377

 

CareCredit Fined for Deceptive Marketing Practices

March 21, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The popular medical credit card, CareCredit has been fined by regulators for its deceptive marketing practices. More than 100 professional groups, including the American Dental Association endorse the card. A regulatory filing done this week revealed the credit card company paid dozens of professional associations to convince their members to pitch the high-interest credit cards to their patients.

Protections in the U.S. Truth in Lending Act are designed to help consumers compare different financing options. CareCredit has been cited for faulty marketing practices by the New York Attorney General’s office and by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This is not the first time the company has come under scrutiny. Back in December of 2013, it was required to refund up to $34.1 million to consumers who were victims of deceptive credit card enrollment tactics at doctors’ and dentists’ offices around the country. Consumers signed up at the medical offices thinking the credit cards were interest free, but they were actually accruing interest of up to 26.99%, which kicked in if the balance was not paid at the end of the promotional period.

CareCredit had relationships with 107 professional associations and other groups as of December 31, 2013. Of these relationships, 63 were paid endorsements linked to member enrollment, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.