Choosing a Credit Card: Understanding Interest Rates

by Finance Published on: 13 December 2021 Last Updated on: 08 May 2023

Credit Card

A credit card can improve your credit when used properly. The wrong card, however, can cause damage to your budget and credit score. Interest rates vary due to the company preference, your credit score, and market rates. You can read about the interest rates for each credit card before you decide to apply for credit card with bad credit. If you have low credit, you may not have a choice to choose a card with a low-interest rate. If you have good credit, however, do not settle for cards that price gouge with interest rates and extra fees. Learn how to manage your interest charges with your new credit card, as well.

Your Credit Score

Look for cards that fit your credit score before applying. Every time you apply for a freedom flex credit card, your credit gets marked. This can lower your credit score. While this may only cause a drop of a few points, it adds up if you apply for several cards. You can find several free credit monitoring apps that help you choose credit cards and monitor your credit score.

Market Changes

Interest rates may vary through the year due to market changes. This variation can easily interrupt your financial plans, as the changes may come as a surprise on your next bill. To avoid this problem, keep your balance low and well below your credit limit. Many credit card companies also offer incentives for new customers. You can often find a credit card that offers no interest for the first year or more.

Total Balance

Interest rates affect the total balance on your credit card statement. Your interest charges rise when you leave a balance on your credit card at the end of each billing period. These charges add to your total balance, so take care to stay under the credit limit. Most credit card companies refrain from charging interest if you pay off the entire balance each month. Try to keep your balance under 30% of the credit limit so it reflects well on your credit report, as well.

Annual Fees

Annual fees add to your balance once each year. When you get a new credit card with an annual fee, the company usually adds it to your balance right away. This fee remains separate from your interest charges. These fees usually come with cards for individuals with low credit. If you have good credit, you should get approved for a reputable card with no annual fee. These fees can range from $95 to $500, so shop around to find an affordable card.

Credit card interest does not have to ruin your budget or your credit score. You can minimize interest charges by paying more than the minimum fee on your credit card each month. Take the time to learn about interest rates before applying for a new credit card. You can lose points on your credit score every time you apply for a new card, so choose wisely and do not apply for several all at once. With some research and good spending habits, you can minimize interest charges and improve your credit with your new credit card.

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