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Understanding Credit Card Penalties

Because most of us have one or two credit cards and we use them every day, understanding credit card penalties and fees is a significant issue since one time or another we have paid a penalty for some reason. Every user of a credit card must first understand that every charge on the credit card represent a loan which must be repaid. It's like the loan for buying a house or a car; the same way these loans should be repaid, the credit card debt should also be repaid and even more it should be paid in time and at least the minimum amount or else you'll end up paying more interest fees and penalties than the actual borrowed amount. So, we can say it is important that reading and understanding credit card penalties and fees to be done before you apply for a credit card and start using it. A credit card user should read, before signing, the agreement and especially what is written with small letters because those small written lines sometimes are the most important. The agreement of the credit card usually contains rules on how and when the credit card issuer can apply penalties and fees, but you should also look for the lines where it is clearly stated how and when the payments should be done. You, as the future user of the credit card need to have complete and accurate information in order to be able to take a correct decision.

In the past few years, credit card companies and banks are set to make as much profit as they can, in any way they can. They have introduced all sorts of penalties and fees, and have come up with various strategies on how to get more people to pay more money. So, understanding credit card penalties and fees policy is a must for every credit card user, as he must always know how and when to pay his debts in order not to be charged penalties of higher interest rates. Nowadays, you can pay penalties for a lot of situations. If you miss a payment deadline, you'll pay a penalty that very much depends on the balance you have: for a small balance a small penalty and for a big balance another penalty. Other banks or credit card companies charge you the same penalty regardless of the balance you have, but this penalty tends to increase as the time passes. There is also another system: for late payment you'll have to pay a penalty and a penalty interest rate. And you should know that card issuers don't have a limit on how high the interest rate can go, it all depends on your cardholder agreement. In fact, credit card issuers don't look at the late penalty payment as a punishment. For them penalties are a way of training you to keep your commitments, in other words to train you paying in time. A credit card is a line of credit, and when you accepted to take this credit both of you and the credit card company made commitments: the company to lend you the money and you to pay the money back. The company has already shown her good faith and gave you the money, but you you're late with the payments the credit card company starts wondering whether you're still committed to pay the money back. So, the penalty is the way to remind you that you have to make the payments in time.

We can ask ourselves why credit card companies are more and more interested in penalties and fees. The answer is: because of the increased competition on the credit cards market the companies are making less and less money from finance charges compared to the past years, So, the credit card companies are finding other ways to make more people pay more money. That is why is important that reading and understanding credit card penalties and fees policy to be done before applying for a card and not after when you are already piled under a lot of debts accumulated for paying various penalties and higher interest rates. For not getting into such a situation, the most important advice is to know from the beginning the real cost of the money you're borrowing, not only the interest rate but also the penalties and other fees. Also, it is essential not to be fooled about the great offers of the big credit card that you receive in your mail box. Shop around for other credit cards and decide only after seeing more than one offer.

This article has been provided courtesy of Creditor Web. Creditor Web offers great credit card articles available for reprint and other tools to help you search and compare credit card offers

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