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Why Your Credit Score May be Holding You Back

Jun 6, 2008
The majority of credit card companies including Visa and MasterCard, the two most well known credit card companies now offer the ability to apply online for one of the many versions of their cards available. This makes the process quicker and more convenient than ever. People who may not have bothered in the past because of the long wait and the feeling that they wouldn't acquire a card anyway can now take their chances and have verification back quicker than ever.

In addition to standard personal cards there are now specialized cards as well that cover all walks of life, including student cards, business cards and travel cards. Credit card providers still do the majority of their business through standard cards though, and these are available to anyone within the appropriate area. Be warned that most credit card companies, namely the smaller ones operate within and deal strictly with U.S customers, so if you're outside the United States many of these cards will not be available to you.

Getting approved for a Visa credit card or others requires a few things in most instances. You need to be holding steady employment, have a stable banking account, and supply a history of your credit report.

Initially you will probably receive early membership benefits like low or no APR, and no annual fees. You may also receive grace periods on interest rates as long as you keep your credit line in good standing.

Many cards offer cash back points or other rewards systems. These systems may vary greatly, and may only reward purchases through certain vendors or very specific rewards. You may want to look into the rewards offered by each company, and the ways to obtain them and determine which card makes the most sense with your lifestyle and likely purchases. Getting more points but only being able to use them on camping gear when you don't camp doesn't make much sense as an example. You'd be better off going with a company whose prizes may not be worth as much technically, but are more relevant to you personally.

Finding a card with built in fraud protection is important with the continuing rise of identity theft. Some cards will offer a 100% back guarantee, while others may only provide a portion of the fraudulent transaction fee back. Regardless of the fraud protection that comes with your card, you must take action the moment you suspect you've had your card used fraudulently.

In the event that you've been turned down for a card despite seemingly meeting all of the criteria it's likely that your credit report contains info that you may not even be aware of. Even the tiniest blemish, such as an outstanding $30 bill to a music club could cause credit card companies to get cold feet about giving you a line of credit or offering a lower interest balance transfer card. Obtaining a copy of your credit report and taking care of any problems on it should remedy the situation.

With all the information that comes into play when choosing a credit card company you may get overwhelmed by the info and find yourself unable to remember which card offered which benefits. Web sites that offer an online comparison page of numerous credit cards' fees, benefits and other info side by side can make this decision much clearer. If you decide to go with a less well known company, be sure to conduct some research on them first, through multiple avenues. Don't trust the word of just one random site, as the person operating that site may be an affiliate spewing rhetoric and false promises to get a sale. Sites with message boards and discussions taking place about the benefits and experiences they have had with each card are a great place to form an opinion about a company and their service.
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