- Independent Financial Advisers Sydney
By Jon T Norwood
It won’t be long until the United States at long last progresses to a cashless system of purchases. Every year online buying and new payment methods are becoming a part of the American way of life. Even now it is possible to pay almost any bill online or even set up automatic payments where the account holder need not even raise a finger. While obviously this isn’t yet foolproof, the convenience often outweighs any dangers that are present. The question becomes, how can a person with bad credit be apart of these new systems?
Credit cards with low APR are for the most part unavailable to consumers that have bad credit. With the nation as a whole moving into an area of poor credit however, more financial institutions are making products available for this growing market. Credit cards for bad credit are becoming more common, and the availability is quickly spreading.
These bad credit credit cards can be a decisive advantage to consumers with a poor credit history, but if managed badly can do more harm than good. While some people have bad credit as a result of unemployment or illness, most consumers simply manage their finances badly. Bad credit cards handled poorly will keep a credit rating low, or make it worse.
Bad credit cards can be used in the following ways to increase a consumer’s credit rating:
Monthly Use – Make at least one purchase each month on the credit card, and pay the balance off entirely. This offers a consistent flow of credit reporting on your account. This consistency is what creditors are looking for in a good customer.
Keep a small balance – Although any financial expert worth talking too will say to pay off your credit card balances as fast as possible, there can be a benefit from carrying one. Credit companies like customers to carry a balance for obvious reasons, so they may increase your balance because of this. DO NOT carry a balance that will cause you to get behind in payments due to high APR.
Charge less than half your available credit – The more debt incurred on credit cards, the less credit worthy you are. A safe point is less than half of your available credit limit across all open credit accounts.
It has become common for creditors to sell customer accounts to other credit companies as credit worthiness changes. This may have already happened to you and you were simply unaware of why. In 2005 Providian sold off much of it’s customer base to Washington Mutual. As a customer becomes more credit worthy, they become more valuable to many creditors. To make a profit, some bad credit credit companies will help customers build their credit up, and then sell them to another company. This can be a good thing for the consumer as well, as their new account will probably have better APR.
It is possible to have credit that is so bad that even companies that specialize in bad credit credit cards won’t issue you a card. Once this point is reached, possibly through bankruptcy, debit cards and prepaid credit cards become the only options left. Debit cards work the same as credit cards when making a purchase for the most part, and they can’t get you into any further credit problems. Prepaid cards work exactly like a credit card, however money must be deposited into the prepaid credit card account before they can be used.
With all of these options open to consumers, there something out there that will allow everyone to take part in the modern economy. With careful effort over time, even the worst credit history can be repaired.
About the Author: Jon Norwood is a managing partner of Bad Credit Advisor, a site providing information on
bad credit credit cards
, prepaid debit cards, and articles on how to repair your credit history.