With the financial challenges that are so common today among Oregon residents, it might seem counterintuitive to consider having a credit card to improve or repair one’s credit after a bankruptcy or other financial recovery, especially if previous credit card debt contributed to financial woes. However, responsibly managing a credit card is one of the most effective ways to improve credit. The following points should be considered before opening a new credit card account:
- Consider getting a secured credit card – For people recovering from financial challenges, a secured credit card can be one of the easiest and least risky methods of building credit. Secured credit cards are usually low in interest, easy for even those with bad credit to obtain, and offered by many reputable banks and financial institutions.
- Understand pre-approved card offers – Pre-approved credit offers can seem tempting because they hold the promise of immediate acceptance. However, some of these cards may come with hidden fees or high interest rates. It’s a wise idea to read the fine print before signing up.
- Beware of bad-credit lending scams – Individuals recovering from a bankruptcy or trying to repair bad credit are often targets for scammers. They may offer no interest for a certain amount of time and other incentives to sign up, but it’s not uncommon for these deals to come with a steep price. This can include hidden fees, exorbitant membership renewals and astronomical interest rates. If a credit card offer seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
The key toward repairing credit with a credit card account is in making wise decisions, understanding the terms, keeping the balance paid down and making payments on time each month.
Source: NASDAQ, “3 Crucial Steps Toward Credit Repair,” Motley Fool, Aug. 25, 2014