If you’ve been paying credit card bills for some time, you’ve probably encountered the term “finance charge”. But what does this mean? What are finance charges and how do they affect you? Here’s a look at the facts.
The most common definition of a finance fee is, in laymen’s terms, the finance charge you pay for a debt that you owe at the end of a billing cycle. In laymen’s terms, a credit card company might charge a commission (known as a promotional rate) on any amount that you’re not required to pay at the end of the billing cycle. If you carry a balance from one billing cycle to the next, or carry a balance for six months or more, then you’ll be charged an extra finance fee or finance charge on that balance. Credit card companies use these fees to offset their loss over the amount of late payments and defaults by charging a commission.
Paying off credit card bills early can help you avoid credit card finance charges. When you make your monthly payments on time, you are minimizing the amount of finance charges that go toward your outstanding balance. The longer you take to clear your balance, the more money your credit card company will earn. If you are able to clear your balance in full each month, your credit card company won’t have to charge you a commission. They will instead have nothing to benefit from your lack of payments. This will help you avoid credit card finance charges.
If you’re paying off your balance in full each month, there are still ways to avoid finance charges. Credit card companies don’t like to see balances remaining unpaid for a long period of time. So if you’re unable to pay off your balance in full each month, the credit card company may charge an extra finance charge on your account. And this finance charge can accumulate quickly.
One way you can prevent finance charges is to keep your balance low. It sounds counterproductive but the best way to do this is to choose a credit card that has a lower annual percentage rate, or APR. This APR will be higher than your current interest rate, but it will be lower than the maximum credit card charge you will be paying. By paying your balance in full each month, you will be increasing the amount you can save by paying less interest.
When paying off credit cards, remember that it’s wise to cancel your credit cards before you pay off the balance. By doing so, you will stop finance charges. You can also make extra payments towards your balance every month. Make sure you get your bank statement and summary of all payments so you’ll know exactly how much you need to pay each month. If you want to avoid finance charges, make sure you only take out as much money as you can afford to pay off in one month.
Once you’ve paid off your balance, make sure you understand the exact finance charges and the amount of time it will take to pay off your balance. Also make sure you don’t forget about your finance charges. All finance charges are reported to the credit card issuer. The issuer will use this information to determine your credit score. If your score is poor, it will prevent you from getting many credit cards in the future.
To keep from getting finance charges all the time, it is important to pay off your balance as soon as possible. Also, it’s wise not to open new credit card accounts. The longer you take to pay off an old balance, the more likely your credit card issuer will raise your limit. To do this, avoid applying for new credit card offers. Pay your balance in full each month and avoid applying for new accounts.