Minnesota consumers should know that credit card applications are deceptively simple to fill out. In fact, you can complete an application and get an approval or denial while checking out at your favorite store. However, any time you apply for a credit card, you’re potentially signing up for a big commitment, so you should definitely read the fine print and thoroughly understand what you are getting into. Also, in order to avoid an unnecessary hard inquiry on your credit report, you should be confident that you meet the requirements. Because every hard inquiry docks a few points off your credit score, filling our credit card applications shouldn’t be like throwing spaghetti at a wall. No, Minnesota credit-seekers should never just fill out several applications in the hopes that one of them is approved.
Instead, you should know where you stand with your credit score and credit reports, research your options, and make an educated decision before applying for any new credit card.
How Minnesota Consumers Can Determine their Creditworthiness Before Filling Out Credit Card Applications
There are credit cards on the market to match the needs of almost any Minnesota consumer. For example, some credit cards are designed for consumers with good credit scores who want maximum rewards. On the other hand, other credit cards are better for Minnesota residents with lower credit scores or thin credit files who want to build or rebuild good credit. Typically, these cards come with higher interest rates, but they serve a purpose for those who don’t qualify for low interest rate credit cards.
To determine which type of credit card is right for you, check your credit score and credit reports. You can get a free credit score from sites like CreditKarma.com. Just keep in mind that these free scores may not be the ones used by credit card issuers. To be safe, go to MyFICO.com, and pay a small fee for a credit score that a creditor is more likely to pull. If you already have a credit card, your issuer may offer free FICO scores as a perk to consumers. Some Minnesota banks also offer complimentary credit scores to account holders.
It’s also important to check your credit reports because, by doing so, you may realize that your credit score is brought down by credit report inaccuracies. Surprisingly, about 80% of Minnesota credit reports contain flaws. This is why it’s a good move to go over your credit reports and report any errors you find before applying for a loan or credit card.
Terms that Minnesota Consumers Should Know Before Filling Out Credit Card Applications
Too many Minnesota consumers sign up for credit cards without fully understanding the attached contracts. In order to fully grasp the information contained in a credit card agreement, you should know a few important terms.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
This is another term for interest rate, or the percentage of your balance charged to you if you roll your credit card balance over from month to month. All Minnesota credit card applicants who don’t plan on paying off their balances every month should have a clear understanding of a card’s APR.
APR for Balance Transfers
This term is applicable for Minnesota consumers who transfer a balance from one credit card to another one. Often, for credit card users with good credit, an issuer will offer an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers.
Balance Transfer Fee
This is the fee that banks charge consumers who transfer an existing credit card balance to a new card.
APR for Cash Advances
Interest rates charged on cash advances are normally higher than those attached to credit card purchases. In addition, these higher interest charges usually start accruing immediately after a Minnesota consumer takes out a cash advance. This is why credit card holders should use cash advances sparingly.
Cash Advance Fee
In addition to higher and immediate interest rates, credit card companies typically charge consumers fees for cash advances. Generally, these fees range from 3%-5% of the advanced cash total.
Minimum Interest Charge
This term refers to the smallest amount you’ll pay in interest during a month for a rolled over credit card balance. For most credit card issuers, this fee is $1. So, for example, if your rolled over balance only accrues 50 cents in interest charges, the total rounds up to $1.
Some credit card users pay a certain amount every year for privilege of using a particular card. Normally, Minnesota consumers who pay annual fees are at the two ends of the credit card spectrum. Those who carry high-end credit cards with very lucrative rewards pay annual fees. Then, consumers with bad credit who take out “subprime credit cards” may also pay a fee every year.
Hopefully, Minnesota credit card users never face penalty fees, but they should know what and how much they are. These are the fees charged by credit card issuers when their customers pay late or go over their spending limits, and they vary from card to card.
How Minnesota Consumers Can Fix Credit Report Errors Before Filling Out Credit Card Applications
Minnesota consumers should know that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles them to error-free credit reports. Therefore, they can dispute any mistakes they find with the credit bureaus. In turn, the credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) must conduct a reasonable investigation of the disputes within 30 days of receiving them. Then, for valid claims, they must remove the inaccuracies.
Unfortunately, though, the credit bureaus are not always cooperative with consumers. In fact, many Minnesota residents who attempt the dispute process on their own find it frustrating and slow. This is why, if you find mistakes on any of your credit reports, you should call Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Minnesota. Our team of experienced credit pros knows how to deal with the credit bureaus, and we can get you clean credit reports quickly, easily, and for free.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let fraudulent accounts or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (612) 235-4458 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/minnesota/credit-repair/.