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What is a balance transfer?

Debts have become a struggle for many households. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a recession that is sweeping across the globe. More and more people are finding themselves with more credit card debt than money in savings.

The reality is that it is taking longer for most people, especially cardholders, to pay their debts. This delay in paying down debts leads to a significant amount of money lost to interest along the way. If you have racked up debt on a high-interest card, what options do you have? There is a simple solution for you: opting for balance transfer credit cards.

This post discusses balance transfers: what they are and how they work. Read on to find out more.

What is a balance transfer?

In the simplest terms, a balance transfer is an opportunity for you to transfer debt from one credit card to another credit card, usually with better terms. In most cases, the transfer is from a high-interest credit card to a lower interest credit card. Please remember that this does not help you avoid paying the debt. You will still have to pay the debt.

If you transfer the debt to a lower interest card, the amount of interest you will pay can be reduced. This is, perhaps, the reason why most credit cardholders opt for balance transfers.

Keep in mind that balance transfers are not only limited to credit card debts. With certain credit cards, you can also rollover personal loans and student loans.

A balance transfer can be a good opportunity for you to take control of your debts. This transaction can save you the pain of high and choking interest rates. It can also help you to combine several payments into one card.

How does a balance transfer work?

Balance transfers are transactions that occur when a cardholder moves all or part of his debt from a credit card to a balance transfer card.

Most balance transfer credit cards come with a 0% interest offer for a limited period. This could save you money on interest payments and use the money to settle your debt faster. You will, however, be charged a fee that is expressed as a percentage of the amount being transferred, and the amount will be added to your balance.

The process of balance transfers varies widely depending on the bank policies and the fine print on your credit card agreement.

Should I do a balance transfer?

Balance transfers have both advantages and disadvantages. If wisely used, balance transfer credit cards will help you pay off your debt in time.

As you read on, this post will discuss both the pros and cons of balance transfers in detail. Thoroughly consider all the pros and cons before deciding on whether to apply for a balance transfer or not.

To makes things easier for you, think about the following before applying for a balance transfer credit card:

  • How long will the introductory offer last?
  • What is the balance transfer fees?
  • What is the credit limit?

Advantages of balance transfer

Balance transfers come with several advantages, as discussed below:

  • You can combine your credit card debt. If you carry balances on several credit cards like Blaze credit cards, you can combine them onto one balance transfer credit card. This will save you the hassle of making several monthly payments or tracking several due dates. This feature makes it simpler to manage your payments.
  • You can enjoy a lower credit card interest rate. If the interest rate on your current credit card balance is high and unsustainable, you can roll it over to a lower interest rate credit card. With a reduced interest rate, more of your monthly payments will go towards clearing your credit card balance instead of monthly interest payments.
  • You can take advantage of better credit card terms. Better terms can be in the form of lower finance charges and longer grace periods. Good credit cards offer rewards on every new purchase.
  • May increase your credit score. In the long run, balance transfers may improve your credit score. This is because it will reduce your utilization rate. A lower utilization rate is viewed as a sign of responsible credit use.

Disadvantages of balance transfers

Despise free lunch. Let’s just say there's no free lunch. Advantageous as they may sound, balance transfers have their potential downside.

  • There is no guarantee of a lower interest rate. If you are not eligible for an introductory credit card offer, you could end up with a higher interest rate. Only those credit cardholders with a good credit score get to enjoy lower interest rates.
  • There is a risk of more debt. When your interest rate burden is lifted, you run the risk of incurring more debt. You may end up with more debt even when you initially intended to reduce your debt burden.
  • Balance transfer fee. Balance transfers are not free. A fee is charged for each balance transfer. The fee is usually a percentage of the amount transferred. In most cases, the fee ranges from 2% to 5% of the amount transferred.
  • They require that you have an excellent credit score. You will only enjoy those introductory credit card offers like 0% balance transfer if you have an excellent credit standing.

Bottomline

In conclusion, balance transfers are the ray of light for those stuck in the dark tunnel of debt. To ensure that you are getting a good deal, pay keen attention to the terms of the balance transfer. If you are eligible for a 0% introductory offer, make sure you pay the outstanding balance during the offer period.

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Blaze Mastercard Review

Do you have little or no credit history? Do you have a poor credit rating? Having a low credit score can be as frustrating as it is inconveniencing. With a low credit score, it can be almost impossible to get a loan, rent an apartment, or even land a job. Woe unto you if you apply for an insurance cover when you have a low credit score. The premiums you will be charged will be above the roof.

They say that the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem. The second natural step is to think of a solution to your problem. If you have a low credit score or a poor credit history, worry no more. You have landed at the right place. We've got a solution for you, or maybe we don't. Read on to learn more about the Blaze Mastercard and see if it could be the perfect solution for you.

Features of the Blaze Mastercard

The Blaze Mastercard is a straight-forward credit building card. It is a useful card if you are trying to establish your credit or rebuild after an unfortunate financial mishap. If sensibly used, this card can help you build your credit rating to the point of qualifying for premium credit cards.

We take a look at some of the unique specs of the Blaze Mastercard to help you familiarize yourself with it.

  1. Issuing bank. This card is issued by the First Savings Bank. First Savings Bank has been in business for over 100 years. The bank has a reputation for performance and excellent client service.
  2. Annual Percentage Rate (APR). APR is the card's interest rate for any outstanding balance. The Blaze Mastercard has a uniform APR of 29.9%
  3. Credit limit. A credit limit is an amount a cardholder is allowed to borrow. The average credit limit is $350. Important to note that there is an opportunity for growing your credit limit if you maintain the account in good condition for a long time.
  4. Annual fee. You pay an annual fee of $75 for the use of the Blaze Mastercard. The fee may be waived if you use the card responsibly after a few years.
  5. Unsecured credit card. The Blaze Mastercard is unsecured. What does this mean? No security deposit is required. For a secured credit card, you'll be required to pay an upfront deposit.
  6. Customer service. First Savings bank prides itself as a customer-centric bank. They have a friendly and round the clock customer. You can reach a customer service representative via phone if you any issue with your card.
  7. Mobile App. There is a free and easy-to-use Blaze Mastercard App. You can use the App to manage your credit card account.

Pros of the Blaze Mastercard

Here are six benefits of having the Blaze Mastercard Credit Card:

  1. No hidden fees: Some secured credit cards charge above-the-roof fees on the pretext that the cardholders are risky clients. The high costs are concealed as account set up and maintenance fees. This is not the case with the Blaze Mastercard. The costs associated with the Blaze Mastercard are clearly stated. Understanding the costs isn't rocket science.
  1. Unsecured credit card: Unlike secured credit cards, which require that you pay an upfront deposit, the Blaze Mastercard is unsecured. No security deposit is required when applying for this credit card. This is what makes it ideal for those who have a poor to average credit score.
  1. Easy approval: A majority of the applications of the Blaze Mastercard are always approved. The application can be done online at the convenience of the applicant. Reviews from applicants show that the application process is seamless. The approval is also instant.
  1. Great customer support: The customer service is friendly and highly responsive. You can access the customer service team from anywhere on the globe. Any issue with your credit is quickly addressed professionally.
  1. User-friendly mobile App: With the user-friendly Blaze Mastercard App, account management has never been this easy. With this App, you can track your expenses and track your financial activity.
  1. An opportunity for increasing your limit: The Blaze Mastercard allows you to grow your credit limit. If you use the card sensibly over a few years, your credit limit will grow automatically. Responsible usage of a credit card refers to timely payments and not going beyond your credit limit.

Cons of the Blaze Mastercard

The Blaze Mastercard has several downsides:

  1. No cash rewards: Cashback rewards are only limited to those with a premium membership. Remember that you cannot apply for a premium membership if you have a poor credit history and a low credit score. You also do not earn loyalty points when you make purchases and payments with the Blaze Mastercard Credit Card.
  1. High Annual Percentage Rate: At 29.9%, the APR is relatively higher. It is almost double the national average in the United States. This can increase the financial burden for the cardholders as they are already struggling with issues of a low credit score.
  1. A relatively high annual fee: An annual fee of $75 is exorbitant for someone with a low credit score. The issuer promises to waive the fees after a few years of good usage, but this is a vague promise.
  1. Unclear terms and conditions: There are no clearly spelled out terms and conditions for Blaze Mastercard credit card users. For example, there is no place it mentions how long it takes for one to get a credit limit increase.

Is it worth it?

Despite its shortcomings, the Blaze Mastercard remains the best option if you do not qualify for other credit cards. Eligibility for premium credit cards depends on your credit history and credit score.

We consider the Blaze Mastercard as an incredible option because it will help you improve your credit score. Additionally, with proper usage, you can upgrade to a premium credit card.

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How to check your credit card score

Your credit score is what determines your creditworthiness. Simply put, creditworthiness defines how deserving you are of credit. A lender considers you as being creditworthy if it is convinced that you will honor your debt obligations in a timely fashion.

To avoid a conflict of interest, lenders don't evaluate their clients' creditworthiness on their own. Reputable and independent credit-scoring bureaus usually perform the evaluation of an individual's creditworthiness. These intermediaries use complex mathematical formulas to assess the risk associated with a particular lender and the probability of payment.

Financial institutions use the ratings from credit bureaus to determine whether you are eligible for credit or not. Your credit bureaus' financial rating also determines the terms under which financial institutions will advance credit to you. If you have a low credit score, you are categorized as a risky borrower. Your loan application will be outright rejected, or the interest rate payable on the loan will be high.

This post will teach you what a credit score is and how you can check your credit card score. Read on till the end.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that is obtained after an assessment of your credit file. It normally ranges from 300 to 850. 850 being the highest possible score. It estimates how likely you are to honor your debt obligations. Credit- scoring companies extract information from your credit reports and use mathematical formulae to calculate your credit score.

Credit scores were invented to make decision making easier for lenders. They are a summary of your borrowing history. The thinking behind the use of credit scores by potential lenders is that your past behavior predicts your future behavior. For instance, if you had borrowed money before and paid in a timely fashion, then it is assumed that you will pay the money you seek to borrow.

Credit scores are not only used by financial institutions. Insurance companies may also check your credit to determine the premiums you should be charged. A landlord may also use your credit score to decide whether you are a deserving tenant or not.

What is a good credit score?

It is simple, the closer your credit score is to 850, the more deserving you are of credit. A higher credit score increases the chance of your online loan being approved. It also earns you favorable credit terms like a lower interest rate. If you are applying for an insurance cover, you'll enjoy reduced premiums.

Using the FICO scale, a good credit rating starts from 670 and goes up to 739. A score above 800 is considered exceptional. FICO is the leading credit-scoring bureau in the United States.

It is important to note that the definitions provided by credit-scoring bureaus are only indicative. They are only used for educational purposes. In reality, it is the lending institutions that have the ultimate decision on what a good credit score is. However, it is still advisable to check your credit card score regularly.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are curious to see how lenders will evaluate credit scores.

How to check credit score

Before you apply for a new credit card, you should first check your credit score. Banks and other lending institutions use your credit score to determine if you are eligible for credit or the credit loan you are applying for. It doesn't hurt to be prepared in advance, does it?

But exactly how do you check your credit scores? There several ways, as you'll soon find out.

  • Use of credit cards with credit scores

There are credit card providers who provide free credit scores. Look around for one. These services are usually provided through online platforms or mobile applications. However, the credit score provided by two different financial institutions will not necessarily be the same.

  • Purchase credit scores from a credit bureau.

Credit-scoring bureaus such as TransUnion provide credit scores at a fee. You can purchase the credit report online or through the mail. A lending institution is not bound to use the credit score provided by the bureau. Whether a credit score is good or not is at the sole discretion of the financial institutions.

How to improve your credit card score

Now that you have an understanding of what a good credit card score is, it is only fair that we discuss the best way to build a good credit score. If you turn the tips listed below into habits, even before you realize it, your credit score will start nearing the 850 mark.

  • Pay on time, every time.

Of all the parameters taken into account when calculating your credit score, timely and regular payments receive the most attention.

  • Use multiple types of credit

Having various types of accounts tells lenders that you can comfortably and responsibly handle different types of credit. In financial terms, this is referred to as a credit mix. The three main types of credit are open, revolving, and installment credit. It is advisable to have a mix of the three types of credit provided you are using them responsibly.

  • Always ask for favorable terms

There's an unwritten rule in business that you are worth your bargain. If you have been a good and loyal customer, then it is very much for you to ask for better terms from your bank. Ask for lower interest rates or a higher limit on your credit card. A higher limit on your credit card will lower your credit utilization ratio.

  • Regularly review your credit report

There are higher chances that there is an error on your credit report. If you don't review your credit report at regular intervals, this error may go unnoticed and hurt your finances. The faster you identify and report and an error on your credit report, the easier it is easier to prevent your credit score from moving away from the 850 mark.

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Bad Credit Loans: Everything You Need to Know

Nobody wants to be in a bad credit situation. If you are in this situation or have been in this situation, you are not alone; it happens to the best of us. A poor credit status can be a result of poor financial management or just hardships in life. Loss of a job or an illness is among the issues that can land you in a bad credit situation.

Are there still loan options for you if you have a bad credit history? Yes, there are plenty of options for you. These loans will not be under the best of terms.

If you have a bad credit badge getting a loan may seem an act in vain. Thankfully, this is not the case. The bad news is that these loans are financially risky and may leave you in a worse situation than you were.

Read on to get a good understanding of what a bad credit loan is and how you can get one.

What are the bad-credit loans?

These are loans that are specifically designed for those with a low credit score or have no credit history. Unlike conventional loans, they carry a high-interest rate and greater restrictions. The punitive terms and higher interest rates are meant to cater to the high risk of default.

Bad credit loans are also commonly referred to as personal loans. They are usually for a fixed short term. In most cases, those who take them out rarely focus on the interest rate charged.

The fees charged and the terms of these loans vary from lender to lender. They can either be secured, i.e., backed by collateral or unsecured.

What is considered a bad credit score?

The FICO credit scoring system is the most used credit- scoring model. Under this model, the scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest possible score. A good credit score starts from 670 and goes up to 739. A score above 800 is considered exceptional.

A bad credit score increases the chances of your loan application being rejected by a lending institution. All is not lost when you get a bad credit score. There are long-term habits that, if you adopt, will improve your credit score. Paying your bills on time is the most recommended way of improving your credit score.

Factors to consider before taking out a bad credit loan

Bad credit loans always sound like a godsend opportunity until you read the fine details of the contract. To help you make a better and informed decision, we recommend that you first consider the following:

  • How much you need to borrow
  • How much you can afford to pay back each month
  • Who are the available bad credit loan providers, and what are their terms?
  • How long you want to take out the loan for

Types of bad credit loans

There are several types of bad credit loans:

Personal loans

Personal loans can either be secured or unsecured. Secured personal loans are backed with collateral, while unsecured loans lack collateral. If you have a bad credit history, you are more likely to get a secured loan than an unsecured loan.

Payday loans

Payday loans are short-term loans whose payment is usually due the next month. The amount of money involved is also relatively low. The total cost of borrowing involved is usually high.

Peer-to-peer loans

This involves borrowing money from your acquaintances. They could be family members, friends, or colleagues. The rates also offered usually lower than those charged by banks and other lending institutions.

Student loans for bad loans

Student loans are tailored to meet your educational needs like tuition, accommodation, and reading materials. Many personal loan providers will not allow you to use the loan for educational purposes. If you have a bad credit history, you will need a sponsor to co-sign your application before you qualify.

Read more: Best Credit Cards for Students

Pros and cons of bad credit loans

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of taking out a bad credit loan.

Pros

  • Fast approval: Institutions offering these types of loans understand that they mostly offer emergency loans. To serve their clients better, they have made the process of applying for these loans simplified. All they do is to make sure that the borrower understands the repayment terms.
  • They have a high approval rate: It is highly unlikely that your application for a bad credit loan will be denied. The lending institutions already understand that they deal with risky clients. They will not hesitate to approve your loan application but will compensate for these punitive credit terms.
  • They offer a chance to improve your credit history: Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures. If you are stuck in a financial hole, bad credit loans can offer you a way out. With these loans, you can actually improve your credit history. They not only have a high approval rate but also carry no hidden or extra charges.
  • No extra or hidden fees: Lending institutions usually include many hidden costs when processing a loan request. These extra charges include processing fees, ledger fees, and insurance charges. This is not the case with institutions that offer bad credit loans.

Cons

  • They carry a high-interest rate: Compared to conventional lending institutions, bad credit lenders charge high-interest rates. This is because, with this type of loan, the risk of default is high. With these choking interest rates, clients may find it difficult to pay down these debts.
  • Fixed repayment terms: A unique feature of bad credit loans is that the amount you repay every month is fixed. The amount is usually set at the beginning of the contract. So, before you sign the contract, make sure you are comfortable with the set amount.
  • You can get stuck in a never-ending debt cycle: Taking out a bad credit loan is like digging a hole to fill a hole. These loans may keep you in a vicious cycle of debt that is hard to get out of. They say that the devil is in the detail. To be safe, always read the fine print of the contract before signing up.
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Best Credit Cards for Students

"Nothing can be compared to the joy of financial independence" Said by Tung from Tiendayvi.com. When you are financially independent, you have enough income to pay for your living expenses without depending on someone else.

The sad news is that not everyone attains financial independence. Attaining financial independence is not an event. It is a process that requires discipline and commitment over a long time. Without discipline and dedication, financial independence is beyond your reach.

One way to train yourself to be financially disciplined from a teenage age is to get a student credit card. Access to a credit card also helps a student build a credit history and a good credit score.

What is a credit card? What is a student credit card? What are the best credit cards for students? You've landed at the right place. Stick with us till the end.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a pocket-sized rectangular piece of laminated plastic. They are issued by financial institutions to allow you to purchase goods and pay for services by borrowing money up to a pre-determined limit.

Credit cards are issued with the condition that the cardholder will pay back the borrowed money, plus any applicable interest. The cardholder is also obliged to pay any agreed-upon additional charges as and when they fall due. Like most loans, the amount you pay increases depending on how long you take to pay the loan.

Each cardholder has a credit limit. A credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow. The credit limit is set by the issuing company depending on a cardholder's credit history and credit score. Cardholders with a good credit history and a higher credit score will enjoy a higher credit limit. A bad credit history and low credit score will greatly hurt your credit limit.

How do credit cards work? A credit card can only be used where the service merchant accepts credit cards as a way of payment. Depending on the design, a credit card can either be tapped or swiped over a merchant's credit card reader. For online purchases, you have to manually input the card numbers on the seller's platform.

Swiping or tapping your card initiates a series of communication between the retailer, the card issuer, and the payment network. The retailer sends your card information to the payment network and a message to the card issuer, asking for authorization. The card issuer checks to be sure that you are still within your credit limit. If you are within your limit, the card issuer will give the authorization.

What is a student credit card?

Many students are yet to build up a good credit history. They are therefore not eligible for standard credit cards. Student credit cards are designed to serve these students.

Student credit cards work the same way as standard credit cards. The major difference is that student credit cards have a lower credit limit. Due to the high risk of non-payment, these cards charge a higher interest than standard credit cards.

What are the pros and cons of a student credit card?

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of student credit cards.

Pros

  • Build a good credit history: A student credit card can help improve your credit score if used sensibly. You have to commit to making the minimum monthly payments on time to establish a good credit history.
  • Emergency use: Eventualities will always happen. You might get involved in an accident, lose your computer or fall ill. This is where a student credit card comes in handy.

Cons

  • Higher interest rates: The interest rates charged by student credit cards are not only exorbitant, but they are also complicated and difficult to understand. Student credit cards have high-interest rates because the risk of default is very high.
  • Expensive fees: A fee is charged when you use your card for cash withdrawals. Additionally, interest is charged as well from the date of the transaction.
  • Missed payments can affect your credit score: Student credit cards require a high level of financial discipline. If you fail to pay your bills on time, your credit history will be negatively affected.

What things do you need to consider when applying for a credit card?

Below is a checklist of some of the things you should consider when applying for a credit card.

  • Minimum repayment: The minimum repayment is the amount of money you'll be required to pay if you fail to pay the balance due monthly. It may be expressed as a percentage of the amount due or stated as a lump sum figure.
  • Annual fees: Some credit cards charge a fee each year of use. Compare the fees charged by different student credit cards and go with the least.
  • Charges: Apart from the interest, credit cards also carry other charges. The charges are usually spelled out in the credit agreement. The charges may be for late payment or for going over your credit limit.
  • Loyalty points: Loyalty points are earned the more you use your card to make purchases. Check the terms and conditions are earned and how you can use them.

What are the best student credit cards?

What are the requirements for applying for a student credit card? Student credit cards don't require that you have a good credit history or credit score to be eligible to apply. However, some proof of financial experience and responsibility is required.

How do you tell that a student credit card is good? The definition of good is vague. Generally, a good student credit card will have the following features:

  • Relaxed eligibility requirements
  • Loyalty points
  • A cashback rewards program
  • A 'favorable' Annual Percentage Rate
  • Lower credit limits.
  • No-penalty Annual Percentage Rates

Based on the above criterion, the following emerged as the best student credit cards:

Discover it Student Chrome

This student credit card is widely praised for its lenient terms for first-time credit cardholders. It boasts of good cashback and loyalty reward programs. The card does not have an exorbitant penalty Annual Percentage Rate.

Deserve Edu Credit Card

Offered by MasterCard, this student credit card prides itself as an alternative to commercial banks and credit card issuers. This card offers a 1% cashback on all purchases. Additionally, it has a comparatively lower late payment fee. To sum it up, it has a flat APR.

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About me

I am a proud member of this 800 Credit Club, however, it has not always been this way.

As time passes, I have really good at paying it but maybe not so great at really paying it backagain.

Following a couple of years of maxing out my cardpaying only the minimal quantities, and owing tens of thousands of dollars in curiosity, I made the choice to let myself with understanding and eventually get my own credit home in order.

Co-Nect is a unbiased understanding centre and our intention is to assist you in making your personal, educated decisions for getting your own credit life turned around.
Financial Consultant

Johnny S. Fox

Co'nect Finance
Financial Consultant
Johnny S. Fox
Company Founded
2009

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