We cannot discount the fact that credit cards have become an essential part of our daily lives. We rely on our card accounts when purchasing basic commodities, such as food and clothing; when covering our transportation and travel expenses, most especially when buying airline tickets or reserving hotel rooms; and for other related purposes.
However, overuse of credit cards pushed a lot of people into debt traps. In fact, according to the studies conducted by the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, uncontrolled spending is one of the top reasons why consumers incurred huge financial obligations, whereas payment delinquency is a close second.
It was also discovered by the same agency that more and more credit card firms nowadays use confusing terminologies in their terms and conditions, which often mislead consumers. Truth is even international brands, like Citibank, Discover, Chase Bank USA, Bank of America, MBNA America and Capital One Bank, are guilty of such charge. So how can you avoid being misled into paying steep hidden costs and charges?
Misleading Credit Card Conditions
Credit card companies are required by the law to disclose all fees in their credit card agreement. However, some statements may be vague or misleading. Add to this, the Terms & Conditions are often written in very fine print making them difficult to read. But if you won’t spend time reviewing your contract, you could end up with a card that imposes unreasonable rates.
If some terminologies or phrases are unclear, don’t hesitate to call the credit card company and ask for a detailed explanation. As a consumer, it is your right to understand everything associated with your credit card.
Using a Credit Card to Your Advantage
Aside from misleading conditions, it has been found that many credit card issuers today impose unreasonable rates and fees. If you take a look at credit cards in the market, most use the variable rate system of calculation. As a result, many cardholders have found themselves stuck in bad credit and the number is expected to increase in the coming years.
As a consumer, it is your duty to research for a credit card that would serve you best. Don’t just rely on what the ads tell you. Use your senses. Research. Investigate. Inquire. Compare. Only by doing these steps can you find a credit card with reasonable terms.
Finally, upon finding the right credit card, keep your lifestyle simple and think ten times before you using your credit card. Owning a credit card should be taken as a serious responsibility. Failing to keep up with your responsibilities as a credit card holder could lead to debt and financial trouble.
About the Author
Melanie Mathis is a credit analyst and an assistant writer of Liz Roberts for 8 years. She has been participating in the programs of NHBS, Inc such as their continuous effort in giving out Free Credit Repair Guide and Building Ebook. NHBS also has a list of recommended bad credit cards.