Coping With Your Finances

Credit cards are a big responsibility. When they are used improperly, they can disrupt your future financial solvency and cause you other cash flow problems. The more you know about credit, the more likely you will use this powerful tool wisely.

Nevertheless, credit card users nowadays are making a giant leap from the typical shopping experience to a cashless shopping extravaganza. It is very easy to get in over your head with credit cards.

With the endless shopping convenience that credit cards can bring, more and more people are encouraged to get credit cards and use them to the maximum amount of the credit line.

However, many people are reluctant to explore other credit card choices. That is why, in spite of the credit card’s popularity, credit card companies have had to incorporate enticing promotional tools that will hook customer’s interest to apply for a credit card.

Among the many credit card offers dominating the industry today, 0% annual percentage rate (0% APR) is the most common. Many credit card users see this as enough of an incentive to make the switch to another credit card.

By definition, an annual percentage rate refers to interest rates that are paid on purchases. The APR is expressed in a standard format to allow comparison between credit cards. These interest rates are reimbursement to the issuer of accrued expenses, in order to make the loan to the borrower and other fees required. As you might imagine, there must also be some profit for the issuer as well.

Normally, 0% APR is provided during an introductory period by credit card issuers. After that time , any balance on the card would accrue interest until the debt is paid off.

The Concept

In an average credit card, annual percentage rate charges range from 6 percent to as much as 30%. Understandably, people would prefer credit cards with lower annual percentage rates (APRs).

This could be a daunting task for credit card companies that are not well established to keep up with the competition. Hence, they try to find another way of offering the same promotions, but with a new or different twist.

This is when 0% annual percentage rate comes in.

Credit cards with 0% annual percentage rates are the most popular. However, one should clearly remember that 0% annual percentage rate does not last forever. In most cases, this offer lasts only for about 6 months. This is known as the introductory period.

Credit cards with 0% APR work best for people who transfer their current balances on other credit cards to the new credit card. Through debt consolidation, 0% annual percentage rate works for the borrower by cutting back monthly interest expense. It can also save time for the borrower by making only one payment per month. The best approach would be to try to pay the balance by the end of the introductory period.

Statistical reports show that most of the charges that consumers pay are focused on interest rate charges alone. The average interest rate that the credit card owner pays is 18.9%. Keep in mind that late charges can be charged if a payment is received by the credit card company even one day late. This late fee can increase your expense, and ruin an otherwise good payment plan.

Hence, with 0% APR, consumers can definitely cut back on their expenses, and use more of their dollars toward paying off their debts.

So before you grab that dazzling offer of 0% APR on a given credit card, try to consider some factors first.

1. Research

If you have heard about 0% APR credit cards but do not exactly know how it works, it is best that you learn more about it through research.

Learn more about annual percentage rates and how 0% APR credit cards work. Through research, you would be able to know that they only work for 6 months and after that period, you can no longer enjoy this offer.

2. Read the fine print

Indeed, 0% APR credit cards can give you more advantages than you can imagine. Just remember to read the fine print. Many credit card owners are blind-sided by expenses and fees after 0% APR has expired. Most of the time this is because they have not read the fine print. The only way to compare credit card offers is to read every part of the offer, and understand it thoroughly. It you don’t understand the terms or instructions, call the company and get clarification.

0% APR credit cards can be lifesaving packages; they can greatly reduce your credit card expenses. However, they do not necessarily provide you a lifetime advantage. You must make a plan to pay off the debt, and stick to that plan, if you want to successfully use 0% APR credit cards.