Credit Cards: Guidelines for Credit Consumers

By: Mark Lauterwein

When credit card users want to apply for a new card it is best not to approach several providers individually. This scatter gun approach will be noted on the credit record of the borrower in question. When this happens the lender is far more likely to reject an application for a new card and the reasons for this rejection will be retained on records for a year.

A better option is to use a third party comparison site which can check out several deals at once. When something good has been identified, the appropriate lender can then be phoned for a quote. Asking for a quote brings with it no risk of blotting one's copybook.

Many of those eager to sign up for credit cards, particularly 0% credit cards, are looking to transfer a balance in order to save money on monthly interest payments. A good plan in principle, but borrowers are well advised to go through the terms and conditions of any card with the proverbial fine tooth comb before signing up. Important questions that need looking at include the matter of the changeover fee and the actual duration of the interest free period.

Finally, anyone in the market for new credit cards needs to be aware of the security risk involved as well as the measures that can be taken to counter these. Firstly, receipts for all credit card transactions should be kept somewhere safe so that the card provider can be contacted in the event of any discrepancies cropping up on the bill. Secondly, the customer should avoid ATM machines that have anything unusual looking attached to them. This maybe a device designed to record card details for the purposes of fraud. Similarly, when paying for goods or services the customer is entitled to see the transaction completed in front of him.

17/4/2008

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