Should You Pay To Get Your Credit Report?

Credit reporting is important for the consumer in order to monitor the credit history. You can make essential financial decisions when you assess your credit history including borrowing loan facilities, spending, using your credit card and managing debts. Apparently, credit history or credit score affects every other aspect of your life such as employment, insurance rates, and loan facility access.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), every consumer is entitled to a free copy of the credit report every year from the three main credit reporting agencies, which are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. However, nowadays, there is increased number of companies that are offering credit reports. Some claim that they offer the services for free but there is a catch here.

What happens is that you sign up for the free reporting, which may be offered within the first month and after that you are subjected to paid credit monitoring programs that may cost somewhere between $19 and 29 dollars every month. This amount is certainly high for a consumer who is trying to make ends meet.

Although it is very important to monitor your credit report, paying for such monthly fees could cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you pay $19 per month, after 12 months, you will have parted with $228. This is certainly a large amount of money to spend on something that is offered for free.

A credit report is very important because it contains your information including your bills payments, loan facilities, foreclosures, and bankruptcy cases you have had in the past. It also contains information such as arrests and other sensitive information. The credit reporting companies usually sell this information to interested parties such as employers, insurers and businesses, which use it to evaluate the worthiness and integrity of a person for services such as employment, renting houses, insurance, and loan facilities.

When you deal with these other reporting companies that are not recognized, you may end up risking your personal information being sold to marketing companies and spammers. It is important to establish the authenticity of the credit reporting company you engage with. Otherwise, you may need to use the three main credit reporting agencies to get safe credit history reporting.

The big challenge is that since the three main reporting agencies only issue a free copy once in every 12 months, it means that if you want to monitor your credit report somewhere within the year, you may need to pay. It is worthwhile making occasional visit to your report to examine if there are errors. If there are errors or disputes that you need to make, then it is better they are addressed in advance.

Waiting for the yearly copy of the credit report could put you into difficult situations especially if there are errors on the report. The three main credit reporting companies only provide the free annual credit reports through annualcreditreport.com. This means that you need not visit their website to request for your report but go to this website where you can get a copy of your report.

Modest Income Earners Are Locked Out From Top Reward Cashback Credit Cards

Although you can have a reward credit card for cash rebate with a low income, it is clear that if you earn less than $60,000 per year, you may not qualify for the top reward cards. There has been increased trend in issuance of reward cards as consumers seek for ways to save money amidst an economy that is ailing from the past recession. Premium cards like MasterCard’s World brand and Visa’s Infinite brands are designed for the highest spenders.

These cards come with annual fees and if you are to make any meaningful gain from the perks, you probably have to spend at least $2000 in a month. This is pretty high for the middle and low income earners. In addition, bearing in mind that credit card debt continues to haunt many card users, these perks are only likely to benefit the wealthy class and higher spenders.

Reward cards like Example Three and Scotia require a card user to have at least an annual income of about $60,000 for an individual and for a household, it is $100,000. If you do not have this income, then you are not likely to qualify for one. One of the reasons why low income earners are not able to benefit from the top reward cards is because the Federal introduced a voluntary code of conduct that is designed to help protect small entities from the increased processing fees of credit cards.

Despite these regulations, the credit card issuers have developed reward cards designed for the low income earners. One such card is the RBC Cash Back MasterCard, which requires a minimum annual income of $15,000. MBNA’s Smart Cash card is a good option for the card users who earn at least $35,000 per year. This card gives back 5 percent cash rebate on groceries and gas in the first six months. After that you get 2 percent on purchases.

For the frequent flyer, getting a reward credit card can help save money in making trips to different destinations with their favorite airlines. Business travel in increasing and this is being demonstrated by the increased business class seat in major airlines. When choosing a flyer credit card, you need to ensure that you can benefit from the program. Your spending on flight trips will determine whether you will be able to enjoy the reward perks.

Some of the perks may require you to spend certain amount of money before you get them. The US Airways Premier World MasterCard allows a traveler to earn miles on purchases. With this card, a traveler may earn 2 miles in every dollar that is spent on US Airlines. However, for other purchases, a card user earns 1 mile in every dollar that is spend.

It is important to choose a frequent flyer reward card that can earn you miles in other purchases so that is not limited to only travel expenditures. In essence, using cash back reward cards can help get some cash back from your purchases and although the low spender may not benefit much, they may be able to get about $10 to 20 dollars per month. This is an amount that can help offset the card fees.

Why More Credit Card Offers Means Good News for Consumers

The nice thing about business competition is that it motivates companies to offer more attractive products and deals to attract the greatest number of customers. That same principle applies to the credit card industry these days, and now consumers have begun receiving truly generous offers from credit card companies.
Lower Interest Rates and Balance Transfer Fees

Interest rates are among the most important factors when consumers choose a credit card. Because of the increased number of credit card offers, some companies have begun offering 0% interest rates to potential transferees from other credit card companies. That’s about as low as you can get when it comes to interest rates.

Many credit card companies generally charge a balance transfer fee in order for you to take advantage of the 0% interest rate. Most advice columns recommend that you compute what you pay for in interest and compare it to the balance transfer fee before you shift credit card companies. If the interest payments are greater than the transfer fee, then you transfer your balance to the 0% card. But a few credit card companies have made that kind of math unnecessary, because they’ve also started offering no balance transfer fees too. Now you can start availing of 0% interest rate without having to pay for the privilege.

Better Cash Back Rewards

Cash back rewards are very common these days, and surprisingly they’re getting even better and more attractive. Some companies are offering 1% to 5% cash back—the rates depend on the categories of your purchases. For example, some companies offer 5% cash back for everyday expenses such as groceries, gas, and even drug store purchases.

A few credit card companies even offer a $200 bonus if you spend at least $500 within the first 3 months of holding the credit card. That kind of generosity has never been offered before. What’s more, one of these cards is really great for truly large spenders, because there’s no cap limit for their cash back program. They offer 5% cash back for certain categories, and 1% cash back for everything else. Without a cap limit, you can earn as much cash back rewards as you can in a given year.

Greater Travel Awards

If you prefer travel awards, those programs are getting more attractive as well. Several credit cards are offering rewards in the first year which are worth anywhere from $100 to $500. And though most of these companies charge an annual fee, they are also waiving those fees for the first year.
The offers consumers are now getting are becoming ridiculously irresistible, which is good for them. Experts believe that these offers are the direct result of the decreasing numbers of prime customers, which have caused credit card companies to try harder in enticing customers from one another. But whatever the reason may be, now is the time to seriously consider these offers, as they have become more generous than they ever have before.