How to Make Sense of the Terms on Your Credit Card Application

By: Court Tuttle

You are looking through your credit card application, knowing that every detail you are reading is important. After all, you've heard so many times how people got fooled by credit card companies because they neglected to read the fine print. So that's what you are trying to do now, but it's turning out to be completely impossible!

The first step in the right direction is that you have recognized that you need to understand what you are reading. Knowing the details about your credit card application, like what your interest rates will be, if there's an expiration date on the introductory rate, if it is a rewards card, and knowing similar details will allow you to get the credit card you want with no surprises. But how can you possibly understand what kind of a deal you're getting if you can't even understand the words they're using? Here are a few terms that are often used in credit card applications and what they are referring to.

Revolving credit, or open-end credit, refers to a credit card that will allow you to charge on it up to a certain limit. This is probably the kind of credit card you are applying for. This type of credit may be used repeatedly, even after you have paid off the balance.

A fixed rate is an interest rate that will not change over the time that you have a credit card account open. Fixed interest rates are good in many cases because you can predict how much you will be paying each month, rather than having to wait and see. Still, fixed rates are often higher than variable interest rates.

Variable interest rates are those that changes according to the economy. There is a limit, however, on how high and how low the interest rates can get. This helps because, though you do not know what exactly your interest rate will be for that month, you will know what range it will be in, and you may benefit from the times that it is lower than average.

Something you can do that will help you to better understand the terminology on your credit card application is, while you are reading it, mark things that you do not understand. This way, when you can get a representative from the credit card company on the phone, you can ask them about it. Be sure that you know what they're talking about before you go on, instead of leaving it alone because they are having a difficult time explaining it to you.

One thing that you definitely should not do is throw the papers away once you have applied for the credit card. The terms and conditions will be what the company will refer to in the future when and if you ever challenge something they did. You need to know what those terms and conditions are, be able defend your rights concerning them, and refer also to the papers on which they are printed.

Most Read Articles On
"Credit Cards"
Credit Cards
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Credit Cards
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles