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0 APR -- Qualifications You'll Need to Get a Low Rate

Feb 27, 2008
Applying for a credit line offered at 0 APR is an outstanding way to save money. 0 APR credit cards mean that no finances charges are applied to your balance, when used according to the terms of the agreement. There are several instances when lenders will offer this type of scenario to their cardholders. Often it is through a one time deal, an introductory offer or perhaps a special promotion to encourage you to sign up for the credit card. In all cases, the terms and conditions on any 0 APR credit card must be adhered to in order to truly be beneficial to the applicant. Even one late payment can disqualify the introductory 0 APR period and force you to start making high interest payments on any balance that you have accrued. So above all, do not miss or be late on any payments for this type of offer.

Who Gets Them?

There are several types of credit cards offered that are 0 APR. Qualifications for these types will vary based on the type of credit card it is and the special offer being provided. Carefully consider the following examples of 0 APR credit cards to determine if you may qualify.

One Time Offers

Some 0 APR credit card offers are for a one time deal. For example, if you are shopping for a new refrigerator, a store credit card may offer 0 APR credit card with your purchase if you apply the charges today. To qualify for these offers, you will need to have decent credit and you will need to meet other qualifications set by the store offering the card. These one time deals often include no financing charges for a set amount of time, after which payment on the balance and interest will on that balance will accrue.

Introductory Offers

Another type of 0 APR credit card is that of the specialized introductory offers offered by many lenders. These 0 APR credit cards offer three months, six months or sometimes 12 months of no finance charges on balances that are transferred and sometimes also on any purchases that you make during the introductory period. Be sure to read the fine print to know if the introductory offers are based on balance transfers or on purchases. Typically, even the best card offers will not offer 0 APR on both the balances transferred and purchases made, usually only one or the other. Most often, people with good or excellent credit or best suited for this type of credit card.

Special Promotions

Lenders of all types offer special offers to their borrowers, sometimes to help them increase their available credit line. For example, you may receive offers from existing lines of credit offering 0 APR for a limited time on balance transfers you make with the line of credit. Sometimes, contacting your lender directly will allow you to qualify for such offers if you simply ask. Again, you need to know the specifications of the offer including fees and how finance charges will be applied if you do not pay the balance in full.

The value proposition of 0 APR introductory financing offers is tough to deny. Most lenders will sometimes offer 0 APR credit cards to those that have decent credit but most times will only be willing to approve those with much better than normal credit profiles who have shown a track record of responsible borrowing practices.

When applying for a 0 APR credit card, find out what the terms are so that you fully understand the opportunity you are applying for and therefore use it correctly. 0 APR offers can help you to save a significant money on finance charges but only if you strictly adhere to the payment schedule and terms and conditions of the offer.
About the Author
Robert Alan is an editor for www.CreditCardAssist.com and frequently contributing writer on various credit card-related topics. Find more free information, tips and advice from Robert on the 0 APR credit cards page at CreditCardAssist.com.
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