The things for which credit companies hit us with are often legion, above and beyond interest and balance transfer fees, which can be avoided with some pre-planning. One key is to know what to look for; then choose the credit company that is transparent.
Most people know that if you have a credit card, it’s always best to pay the money you’ve charged completely by month’s end. Truly, if we succeed in doing that, the credit card functions practically like a debit card in a sense, but caard-holders procure the gifts that credit card companies periodically provide to promptly-paying customers.
Of course, this good deed may not be what it seems: it is this very reality that most people choose not to pay the balance completely each billing cycle that supports the credit machine (in fact,; about 69% of the $163 billion they bank each year comes directly from this). Most of us understand and abide by this as part of credit life; after all, it is arguably the cost of borrowing money.
Hidden – more often than not – in the tomes of credit-card lore, a practice that would widen most of our eyes were we aware of it. Far too many crecit-companies exist many credit companies that begin charging you interest not from the moment they actually buy the item you charged from the merchant, but from the moment YOU charged it; there can be several days’ difference between the two. This means that they are slapping you with an interest charge for no defensible reason, logically, because interest can’t gather on the promise of a charge; only on the charge, itself. Right??.
It’s instructive to note why this matters. Consider: someone could argue this shouldn’t be a problem because you purchased the merchandise on the date from which the credit companies start charging you interest. Well this actually isn’t very fair, because this means the company has started charging you interest for merchandise they haven’t bought yet! In the highly automated computer systems of credit card companies, your account pretty much shows the effects of their purchase in the time it takes an electron to fly from one end of the building to another!
After all, if you were to annull the charge in the time between when you charged it and the credit company paid the merchant, you wouldn’t lose any money; so, why should they charge you interest during this inevitable “grace period”? It’s a good thing that only some credit companies do this; thus, it is best to locate a company that doesn’t, if you either intend or anticipate not being able to pay most of your credit-card bills by the end of the month.
With credit card companies, so much goes on behind closed doors, it is easy to get lost in the details of what we need to be watching with our daily responsibilities. Another thing to watch out for are deviations from the common 25-day interest-free period on purchases. As though to prove the previous point that whereas credit companies often appear to reward patrons who settle their balances by the end of the month – and thus avoid carry-over fees – this is mostly for show, so that they can lure more customers; credit companies are only in business solely because most card-holders don’t pay off their balances each term, and their research makes it clear that this will occur.
The companies’ true designs are on full display with an increasingly common practice of decreasing this grace time-span to 20 days (almost without warning!). As if to make it even worse, the wait period is lessened to around 23 or 20 days only for the credit-card holders who pay their balances off by the end of the billing period. Could it be that the credit companies are trying to catch you by surprise!?. All is not lost, however; you can actually ask them to get you back on your previous billing cycle.
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