Do you have good credit?

If you have no credit history, or your credit record is not so great, you may well be approved, but the lending rate will knock your socks off. Be sure to read the fine print before you apply for a credit card. What's the APR? Should you be late on a payment, how much is the late fee? Is the rate offered an introductory rate which reverts to a much higher rate a few months down the road? Make sure you have all these questions answered before you sign on the dotted line. Otherwise, your initial excitement in receiving the credit can turn into future disappointment and a worse credit rating.

Applying for a credit card is easy when you know the rules!

When you apply for a credit card, keep in mind that you're making a serious commitment. Your credit rating is important.

Consumer reporting agencies, such as, Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax, gather all this information on you and then sell it to creditors, insurance companies, employers, and other businesses for a fee. Everyone has a right to know what is included in their credit report information, including medical information and the sources of all information provided. It is recommended that you request a copy of your credit report every so often, so that you can address items that have been omitted or are incorrect. If you have been denied credit for any reason, are not granted insurance coverage, or even employment, the company that ran the credit report must give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting agency that provided the credit report information, and the reason for the denial.

Getting into a position where you are late on payments or can make only the minimum payment each month is not desirable. You also need to realize that if you are late, even once or twice, both your lending rate and the dollar amount of a late fee will increase.

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