Getting into debt to manage day-to-day finances is never advisable, but with the current economic uncertainty, having a credit card to fall back on when unexpected costs arise can provide some peace of mind.
Credit cards have gained a bad reputation over the years and it’s easy to see why. They can encourage spending beyond your means, often have high credit limits and can take years to repay if you’re only making the minimum repayment.
But using a credit card efficiently can be a good way to manage your money. The key to using a credit card to your benefit is having a manageable credit limit, paying off the balance in full each month and ensuring you choose the right credit card for your needs.
Will you be accepted for a credit card?
Before looking at choosing a credit card, you first need to find out the likelihood of your application being accepted. Credit card lenders do not have to offer credit cards to anyone who applies and during times of economic uncertainty are more likely to become stricter about who they approve for a card.
The best way to find out your chances of being accepted for a credit card is to carry out a free credit score check. Once you know what your credit score rating is, you have an idea of your chances of being approved for a credit card.
For those with a poor credit rating, or who have had their credit card application rejected, a credit repair credit card is a possible alternative. Typically, these credit cards charge a higher annual percentage rate (APR) than other types of credit cards, but are designed for those with poor credit scores who are looking to rebuild their credit rating.
It is also important to note that your credit score rating does not just determine whether you are accepted for a credit card, but the rate you are offered as well.
Those with a good credit score are more likely to get a lower APR, while those with a bad credit score usually find they are offered a higher APR. It is important to be aware of the APR you are being offered on the credit card before accepting the card as the advertised APR might not be the one you are offered.
0% transfer credit cards
One of the most common types of credit cards on offer is 0% transfer credit cards. This type of credit card is useful to those who have existing credit card debt on one or more credit cards, as they enable the debt to be transferred to the new credit card and has an interest-free period in which to repay the debt.
In order to transfer the debt, you will usually be charged a transfer fee and once the interest-free period comes to an end, you will be charged the standard APR on the remaining balance.
In order to use a 0% balance transfer card efficiently, you should ideally pay off the balance within the interest-free period and not use the card to make further purchases during this period. Once the balance is paid off, making sure you repay the balance in full each month will prevent you from getting into further credit card debt – usually a direct debit can be set up to do this.
There are around 50 0% transfers credit cards available in the charts, as of 2 July 2020. Of these, six offer the longest interest-free period of 28 months, but three of these cards have opening restrictions.
Currently, M&S Bank’s Transfer Plus Mastercard, MBNA Limited’s Long 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard and TSB’s Platinum Balance Transfer Card Mastercard all offer an interest-free period of 28 months and do not have opening restrictions.
NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank all offer 0% transfer credit cards with a 28 month interest-free period, but these cards are only available to existing customers.
0% purchase credit cards
Generally, 0% purchase credit cards are often combined with 0% transfer credit cards, but borrowers looking to do both on one card should check as they are not always combined.
A 0% purchase credit card allows borrowers to make purchases during a set time period where they will not be charged interest for a pre-determined amount of time. These cards can be useful during short periods of time when spending increases, such as summer holidays or in the run-up to Christmas.
Although they can be a useful way to borrow money, it is important to ensure that the balance is repaid in full before the interest-free period comes to an end.
As of 2 July 2020, in the 0% purchase credit card chart, Santander offers the longest interest-free period of 26 months on its All in One Credit Card Mastercard. TSB, M&S Bank and Sainsbury’s Bank all offer the next longest interest-free period of 20 months.
Cashback credit cards
For those who use their credit cards regularly and who pay off their balance in full each month, a cashback credit card could be the best option. These cards offer customers rewards every time they use their credit card, although borrowers should be aware that the best cashback rewards are often on cards that charge a card fee.
For example, American Express offers 5% cashback for the first six months (capped at £125) and, after this period, 1% cashback on spend of between £1-£10,000 per year and 1.25% cashback over £10,000 per year, but this card charges an annual fee of £25.
Michigan’s Top Ten List of Consumer Complaints for 2020
From the Office of Michigan’s Attorney General
To celebrate the importance of National Consumer Protection Week and to help people make informed decisions about how to safely spend their money, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced Michigan‘s Top 10 Consumer Complaints for 2020. Last year, the Michigan Department of Attorney General received and processed nearly 24,000 consumer complaints.
“Each year, my office tracks consumer complaints to ensure that we’re keeping Michiganders informed on crucial details to protect their wallets,” said Nessel. “A common thread every year is the framework bad actors continue to use, which always includes: a sense of urgency, untraceable payment methods, and an offer too good to be true. The Department of Attorney General is committed to being your connection to consumer protection and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the wealth of resources we have to offer during National Consumer Protection Week and beyond.”
The object of any scam is to steal money or obtain personal information by convincing a victim of the need to part with it. Scammers prey on anyone and use clever tactics to convince their victims to hand over money or personal information through deceit, coercion, intimidation, fear and empty promises. These tactics coupled with a sense of urgency put pressure on the victim to make an immediate decision.
Michigan’s Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories of 2020:
Nessel’s Top 10 list is compiled by analyzing all complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team. Thanks to the hard work of the Consumer Protection Team, the Attorney General’s office was able to recover $517,864.10 in consumer refunds, forgiven debt and other recoveries.
Robocalls (5,516 complaints). As a new category in the top 10, it includes illegal robocalls, telephone solicitations and telemarketing. With the launch of Michigan’s Robocall Crackdown Team in late 2019, Michigan is now recognized as a leader in combatting illegal robocalls. In 2020, Attorney General Nessel joined six other states in filing a major lawsuit against a pair of Texas businesses accused of blasting out billions of illegal robocalls. Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC and JSquared Telecom LLC are both believed to be responsible for more than 42 million illegal robocalls to Michigan residents over a five-month period in 2019 alone.
Price-gouging (4,522 complaints). This is the first time that price-gouging has made the top 10 list. Most consumers reported significant price increases on items such as face masks, gloves, toiletries, food and other items during the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2020, the Attorney General’s office took action against many businesses and individuals seeking to profit from consumer panic during the pandemic.
Retail (2,433 complaints). Retail complaints include purchases that involved late deliveries or products that were never delivered. Other complaints include the purchases of appliances, furniture and other items that were defective or did not work as advertised.
Telecommunications, Cable, and Satellite TV (1,880 complaints). This category includes complaints against wireless communications, cable and satellite TV services with most of the reports being billing and service issues. (NOTE: This category does not include robocalls, which has its own category.)
Internet (1,275 complaints). A significant number of these complaints involve online purchases, as well as computer communications and technology, and internet service providers.
Personal Service Providers (953 complaints). This category covers dating services, beauty companies, fitness facilities, spas, home security and tax preparation services.
Credit and Financial Concerns (880 complaints). This category covers a variety of areas including debt collection and reporting, credit repair, payday lending and mortgage brokering. In 2020, the department settled a lawsuit against tribal officials associated with an online tribal lender that resulted in the lender discontinuing its services to Michigan residents and collecting only outstanding principal amount on remaining active accounts.
Landlord/Tenant (786 complaints). This category involves disputes between renters and apartment owners or property management companies, mobile home parks and site operators, as well as condominium associations. Most complaints report on living conditions and contract disputes.
Motor Vehicle and Automobile (670 complaints). Complaints against used car dealers continue to top this category, followed by auto repair shops, new car dealers and passenger car rentals. This category involves issues from shoddy repair work to service issues.
Travel (547 complaints). This category includes complaints against travel agents, travel clubs, time-shares and time-share exit companies.
“In a year that was unprecedented in many ways, I want to thank our Consumer Protection Team for their resilience and dedication to ensuring that every complaint was addressed,” said Nessel.
Throughout National Consumer Protection Week and the entire month of March, consumers can follow along on the Department’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for daily consumer protection information.
Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or by calling 877-765-8388.
Division of Consumer Affairs Releases Top Ten 2020 Consumer Complaint Categories
Tuesday, March 02, 2021 | 11:27am
Nashville- The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) announced the top ten complaint categories for 2020.
DCA received a total of 4,053 complaints in 2020 and recovered both services and funds for Tennessee by working with consumers and businesses. Overall, the number of consumer complaints decreased slightly in 2020 compared to 2019 when 4,250 complaints were reviewed by Consumer Affairs. The Division’s staff works to quickly route complaints so that appropriate action can be taken in cases where deceptive business practices, frauds or scams are identified.
2020 Top Ten Complaint Categories:
- Home Improvements, Home Repair, Home Warranties: 497 complaints
Home warranties, as well as hiring a contractor for services to repair or improve the quality of your home. The most common complaints involve quality of work, incomplete work after receiving payment, and structural damage caused by employed individuals or businesses. Many of these complaints are referred to the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.
- Price Gouging: 343 complaints
Complaints alleging unreasonable price increases on essential items such as groceries and medical supplies. Price increases are generally considered by evaluating several factors including the pre-existing price agreements and increases in cost by suppliers.
- Personal/Professional Services: 329 complaints
Services offered by professionals working in the State of Tennessee, including hair stylists, massage therapists, locksmiths, exterminators, photographers, surveyors, and others. Common complaints include the quality of service, charges for service not received, and problems redeeming gift certificates for services offered. Complaints in this category are sometimes referred to the TN Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Division of Regulatory Boards and the TN Board of Professional Responsibility.
- Landlord/Tenant: 289 complaints
The most common complaints relate to security deposits and the conditions of the rental property. These complaints are commonly referred to city and county building codes enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
- Internet Sales: 281 complaints
Consumer dissatisfaction with items or services purchased online. Common complaints include issues with refunds and returns, or the product or service not being provided after payment. Often, the product or service was solicited via email or social media advertisements. The Division of Consumer Affairs works to mediate these complaints.
- Motor Vehicle- Used Sales & Advertising: 266 complaints
Consumer dissatisfaction with the purchase of used vehicles. Disputes over the vehicle’s condition and deception regarding the sale, advertising, and titling are the most common complaints. Consumer Affairs works closely with the TN Motor Vehicle Commission in this category. In addition, these complaints may be referred to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the TN Department of Revenue.
- Heath Services & Products: 228 complaints
Complaints include inaccurate billing and misquoting services. The Division may mediate complaints or refer appropriate complaints to the TN Department of Health.
- Debtor/Creditor: 225 complaints
This category includes matters related to debt collection companies, payday loans, credit repair companies, and check-cashing services. Consumers report harassing phone calls or billing issues. These complaints are often referred to the TN Department of Financial Institutions and the TN Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Regulatory Boards Division.
- Timeshare/Vacation Clubs: 223 complaints
Complaints related to the purchase of property under a timesharing agreement and the sale of these agreements. The most common complaints report high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of the contract, and resale scams. The Division will often refer these complaints to the TN Real Estate Commission and the TN Board of Professional Responsibility.
- Travel: 183 complaints
This category includes consumer disputes involving travel-related issues such as hotel or rental cabin stays. Many complaints involved requests for refunds because of COVID-19.
Credit Repair Services Market to Witness Increase in Revenues by 2027 – NeighborWebSJ
The Research report on the Global Credit Repair Services Market looks into current and historical values to present projections for vital market indicators. It studies regional as well as key domestic markets to present a satisfactory picture about the growth of the global market for Credit Repair Services Industry over the forecast period. The introductory part of the report includes terms and terminologies, conventions, and notations that are relevant in the context of Credit Repair Services Market. This is followed by a discussion on industry statutes, industry chain structures, and industry growth policies that are in the purview of the Credit Repair Services Market. Demand and supply logistics, production size, product rating and yield, and import/export behaviour are the key parameters that have been studied across geographical markets of Credit Repair Services Industry.
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Some of the key players in the Global Credit Repair Services market are Lexington Law, CreditRepair.com, Sky Blue Credit Repair, The Credit People, Ovation, MyCreditGroup, Veracity Credit Consultants, MSI Credit Solutions, The Credit Pros.
Additionally, it offers a clear understanding of global Credit Repair Services market attributes such as production volume, values, market shares, and size. It also elaborates on global trading factors such as import, export, and local consumption. Moreover, it offers a competitive landscape of the global Credit Repair Services market by providing the business profiles of various top-level industries. Collectively, it offers up-to-date informative data of global Credit Repair Services market which will be beneficial to make informed decisions in the businesses.
Regionally, this market has been inspected across various regions such as North America, Latin America, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Europe on the basis of productivity and manufacturing base. Some significant key players have been profiled in this research report to get an overview and strategies carried out by them. Degree of competition has been given by analyzing the global Credit Repair Services market at domestic as well as a global platform. This global Credit Repair Services market has been examined through industry analysis techniques such as SWOT and Porter’s five techniques.
Global Credit Repair Services Market Segmentation
The top segments in the market have been highlighted clearly in this report for the readers to understand in a précised manner. These segments have been presented by giving information on their current and predicted state by the end of the forecast period. The information presented would help the upcoming players to gauge the investment scope within the segments and sub-segments of the global Credit Repair Services market.
By Industrial Credit Repair Services Market Product-Types: Product Type I, Product Type II, Product Type III
By Industrial Credit Repair Services Market Applications: Application I, Application II, Application III
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Key questions answered in the report:
- What is the Keyword Market’s Growth Potential?
- Which product segment will get the lion’s share?
- Which regional market will lead in the coming years?
- Which application segment will grow steadily?
- What growth opportunities could arise in the Credit Repair Services industry in the coming years?
- What are the main challenges for the Credit Repair Services market in the future?
- Which companies lead the Credit Repair Services market?
- What are the main trends that are positively influencing market growth?
- What growth strategies are players considering to stay in the Credit Repair Services market?
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- It offers the regional analysis of the Credit Repair Services market along with the business profiles of several stakeholders.
- It offers massive data about trending factors that will influence the progress of the global Credit Repair Services market.
Further key aspects of the report indicate that:
Chapter 1: Research Scope: Product Definition, Type, End-Use & Methodology
Chapter 2: Global Industry Summary
Chapter 3: Market Dynamics
Chapter 4: Global Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use
Chapter 5: North America Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use
Chapter 6: Europe Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use
Chapter 7: Asia-Pacific Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use
Chapter 8: South America Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use
Chapter 9: Middle East and Africa Market Segmentation by region, type and End-Use.
Chapter 10: Market Competition by Companies
Chapter 11: Market forecast and environment forecast.
Chapter 12: Industry Summary.
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