People on the brink of credit improvement but not quite there yet, often find themselves faced with a dilemma. Do you accept the first pre-approved credit card offer that comes your way regardless of interest and fees, or do you hold out and wait for something better to come along?
I know that having someone willing to take a chance on you and extend an offer for new credit makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but be careful. Offers like this can sometimes have negative strings attached such as high-interest rates and maintenance fees.
Some companies will make an offer for credit but only if you agree to pay a yearly maintenance fee that’s usually broken down into 12 equal monthly payments. This is the equivalent to petty theft! You’re already being gouged with high-interest rates, and now they want to charge you monthly for the privilege to do so? It doesn’t make sense.
Look, paying a higher interest rate is to be expected because we already know you have bad credit…but the amount of interest you pay should have an automatic cutoff point. Here’s what I mean. A person with poor credit should expect to pay an interest rate somewhere between 23-29%. That’s a given, and you do it until your credit improves enough to do better.
But if you receive an offer for credit and it’s touting 36% interest or worse, tear it up and toss it in the trash. You can do better. Don’t let these creditors prey upon you. It’s hard enough to pay debts down while trying to rebuild credit but it’s next to impossible to pay down debt if most of your payments are going to the interest rather than the principal. Just say NO!
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