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Choices For Your First Credit Card
Credit Card Categories
Credit cards have a variety of purposes. Shopping, travel, balance transfers, building credit, and even cash-back rewards are a few. Start with a category below and search thru the best offers you think will fit your needs.
From Our Creditly Experts
Credit Card Fraud: What You Need to Know
Credit Card Fraud is on the rise. The typical situation of having your credit card number hacked or stolen happens to the best of us, and through no fault of our own. Let’s start with the bad news: Debit and credit card fraud is a persistent problem worldwide....
4 Tips for Better Internet Safety
We love online shopping, it's easy, convenient, and safe - so we think. Amazon, Paypal, and online banking are how people use the internet for, well, just about everything we do in life. After all, it is pretty convenient to just sit at a computer or pull out your...
What Happens to Your Credit When You Get Married?
Credit is the last thing on your mind as you get ready for marriage. Love is in the air, but what happens to your credit reports and credit scores when you get married? There are all kinds of common misconceptions about merging reports and falling credit scores....
How Secured Cards Can Help You Build Credit
How Secured Cards Can Help You Build Credit. Hey Creditly - Why Should I Choose A Secured Credit Card? Great question, let's begin with an explanation. What is a secured credit card? A secured credit card is a fantastic tool for building credit. Whether you have no...
How Long Do Things Stay On Your Credit Report?
Credit takes on a life of it's own. In many ways, a credit report is a lot like a living thing: It grows and strengthens over time, and when something bad happens, it will eventually heal. The duration of that healing process depends on the severity of the damage....
What Is a VantageScore & Do I Have One?
FICO has a little competition. Introducing VantageScore. VantageScore is a credit scoring model that first emerged in 2006 as a joint venture of the major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. VantageScore ratings range from 350 to 800. VantageScore4.0,...
The Best Secured Credit Cards
If you are starting your credit journey with no credit, or are trying for a fresh start, secured credit cards may be the best thing for you. The best secured credit cards are those that help build your credit. Because, if you have no credit history, or you have bad...
What Does FICO Stand For? What is a FICO Score?
Have you heard of the word "FICO"? This funny sounding word is more important than you think when it comes to your Credit Score. The FICO credit score is a credit score developed by FICO. A company that specializes in what’s known as “predictive analytics,” which...
Signs your identity has been stolen
We spend more time online than ever before. From Amazon, to Netflix, Facebook and More. More and more of our lives are moving online, which means the chances of having your identity stolen increases. With all of the information out there, how do you even know if your...
What Is Credit & Why Is it So Important?
What Is Credit? How it Impacts Your Life Credit - It can be confusing. Creditly can help clear up your questions. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood, and often frustrating things about the consumer credit industry is how your history affects so many aspects of your...
Experian: What You Need to Know
In the United States, Experian is known as one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies. Along with Equifax and TransUnion. In fact, it is the largest of the major credit bureaus. Experian manages the data of 890 million people and 103 million...
How to Save Money without Feeling Deprived
If you see penny on the sidewalk, do you pick it up? If you’re trying to save money, the effort to save money versus how much you can afford to save, is a constant balancing act. The key is finding a balance that allows you take advantage of ways to save money without...
Equifax: Credit Reports & Scores Guide
Company Profile: Equifax® Equifax Inc. (Equifax) is a consumer credit reporting agency in the United States and is considered one of the three largest American credit reporting agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. Information that Equifax collects, and is...
TransUnion: Credit Reports & Scores Guide
If you are like most people and have loans or credit cards. Then your debt-handling habits are tracked, collected and put into reports by the three major credit bureaus. Those reports are then used for credit scores, which help lenders determine whether to approve you...
How Much Money to Save for an Emergency
How Much Money to Save for an Emergency? An emergency fund is a must-have safety net. CNN reported that nearly 25% of American adults did not Save for an emergency whatsoever. Only 29% had the recommended six months of savings tucked away. This all begs the question,...
5 Steps to Reduce Your Debt: Do-it-Yourself Debt Reduction
How do I actually reduce my debt? IMCOne of the most common question that comes up when you find yourself in thousands of dollars of debt is simple — how do I actually reduce my debt?!? The challenge of debt reduction can seem insurmountable. TV ads promising quick...
Tips for Improving Your Credit: Your Payment History
If you’re looking to improve your credit in the long-term, well, then, you’ll want to establish a spotless payment history. Your payment history, also known as payment performance, is the record you’ve established by either paying or not paying your bills on time —...
Everything You Need to Know About Those Pesky Credit Inquiries
You’re wondering how to improve your credit scores, you’ll have to first understand what determines those three-digit numbers. Most credit scoring models factor in five major categories when looking at the information your credit reports: payment history,...
Who Are the Major Credit Reporting Agencies?
The credit reporting agencies (CRAs), also known as credit bureaus, gather all of your credit information, so it’s wise to be well-informed about their function. Consumer credit history, scores and reports are extremely important, so we want to make sure you have the...
What’s the Difference between Credit Score vs Credit Report?
Credit Score vs Credit Report. Have you thought about applying for a credit card? Getting a car loan? Renting an apartment? Whether you’re just starting the process or in the middle of it, you’ve probably heard lenders and property managers talk about your credit...
What Is a Soft Credit Check?
With a soft credit check your score won't suffer. Yes, it's as easy as that. When someone looks at your credit, either for informational or promotional purposes. Your credit score has a great deal of impact on your life. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay on top of...
What Is a Hard Inquiry?
Your credit score will drop when a hard inquiries are also known as hard pulls occur. This happens when a creditor checks your credit for the purpose of giving you a loan or credit card. A soft inquiry, or soft pull, is where you or a company is simply looking for...
Everything You Need to Know to Improve Your Credit History
Improve Your Credit History. Understanding credit is what we do best at Credit.ly. Figuring out how to improve your credit score can feel daunting, mostly because getting those numbers to go up can really be a process. While there are a few things you can do to raise...
The Experian Credit Score vs. FICO Score: Differences to Know
Experian vs FICO Credit Score What are the differences between an Experian vs FICO Credit Score? Most people think of a credit score as a number, but another name used is a FICO score. The Fair Isaac Corporation introduced its FICO scoring system in 1989. Since then,...
How to Start Building Credit Once You Turn 18
Start Building Credit Once You Turn 18. Success and your credit score go hand in hand. Good credit is crucial to unlocking many financial opportunities in life. When you have a great credit score, you will see lower interest rates on car loans, credit cards, and...
Does Checking My Credit Score Hurt My Credit?
Trying to navigate credit reports, and understanding credit scores is tricky. The first step of any credit-related mission is to get your credit score. That poses the question, “Does it hurt my credit if I request my credit score?” The notion that checking your...
What Is a Good Credit Score?
The answer is 660 or better, according to what the credit bureaus consider to be a "good" credit score. Let's start by understanding How Credit Scores are Calculated using the FICO® score or VantageScore 3.0 scoring models. The range starts at about 300 and can be as...
Some credit cards are better than others, determine whether a low interest card is what you’re looking for, or a card with more substantial rewards. If you’re unsure – or trying to learn about credit cards in general, our Credit.ly resources page are filled with free education, tips, and hacks to get you on the right track. Some frequently asked questions are below.
How Do I Pick the Right Credit Card?
Americans are lucky to be offered hundreds of competing credit cards, but it can be difficult to find the right one to suit your needs. Therefore, it’s important to know what your spending habits are in order to choose the card that makes the most sense for you.
Cardholders who carry a balance should look for a card with the lowest interest rate, and possibly one with 0% APR introductory financing. A lower interest rate means you will pay less money toward interest charges as you pay down the balance. Meanwhile, those who can avoid interest charges by paying their balances in full every month should choose a card that offers the most valuable rewards in the form of points, miles or cash back.
Make sure you also generally meet the credit issuer’s criteria. It’s a good idea to know what your credit score is so that you can target your search to a card you’re more likely to get approved for.
You should consider any benefits offered by the card, such as purchase protection or travel insurance. Finally, applicants should also take into account any applicable fees — such as annual fees and foreign transaction fees.
When Is It Best to Apply for a Credit Card?
There is no best time of year to apply for a credit card, so the right time will vary for each individual cardholder. A good rule of thumb for building or maintaining good credit is to apply for credit only when needed, keep credit card balances low or paid off whenever possible, and make on-time payments with all creditors.
However, applicants with excellent credit (a 750+ FICO score) might also choose to apply for a new card if they feel that they can benefit from a card’s rewards, benefits or other terms. Those with credit scores below that should be sure to only apply for cards that they are likely to be approved for, or just wait until their credit has improved enough to ensure they meet the credit issuer’s criteria.
Furthermore, anyone who is considering applying for a home mortgage should wait until they have closed on their loan before applying for a new credit card. While new credit card applications do not have a major impact on credit scores, mortgage lenders do not like to see applicants requesting new lines of credit before they close on their loan.
What Does APR Mean?
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and is an interest rate expressed in terms of a year. This is a standard unit for measuring an interest rate, just like “miles per hour” is a standardized way of measuring speed. When a card’s APR is divided by 12 (to get a monthly rate), and that rate is multiplied by an account’s average daily balance, it results in the interest charges that must be paid when cardholders carry a balance on their credit card.
Cards can have separate APRs for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. Some cards even offer an introductory APR that is valid for a limited period of time when a new account is opened. In addition, most cards impose a higher penalty APR when cardholders fail to make a payment for 60 days.
Making Sense of Key Credit Card Terms
Credit cards seem like simple financial instruments, but they arrive with pages of fine print that use terms more suited to a law office than a kitchen table. Here are some key terms you need to know.
A Balance Transfer is when cardholders pay off one card by making a charge to another. Promotional balance transfers offer lower interest rates for a limited period of time, allowing cardholders to save money by paying off their balance on cards that have a higher interest rate.
A Grace Period is the time period after a statement period closes when cardholders can pay their statement balance in full without the risk of accruing interest.
A Foreign Transaction Fee is imposed on all charges processed outside of the U.S., regardless of where you are, or what currency you use. Some credit cards offer the benefit of no foreign transaction fees.
For more information, see Credit Card Terms Everyone Should Know.
What Is a Secured Credit Card?
Think of a secured credit card as plastic with a parachute. Allow us to explain. Learn More »
How Can I Get Approved for a New Credit Card?
Rejection hurts, even when a credit card issuer rejects an application using an automated system. To improve your odds of being approved for a new account, try these steps. First, request your free credit score from Credit.com to find out where your credit worthiness stands. Next, learn which credit cards are designed for those with your credit profile, so that you only fill out applications that are likely to be approved.
When filling out the application, be sure to list all forms of household income, including investments, child support, alimony payments and the income of your spouse or domestic partner if it can be used to pay the credit card account. And if your application is initially rejected, be sure to call the card issuer and ask for reconsideration. In many cases, applicants may be able to reallocate their credit lines or offer other information that results in approval.
How To Get A Student Credit Card
If you’re a student looking for a credit card: here’s everything you need to know.
How To Improve Your Credit Score
Learn how to improve your score and get the best terms on your next credit card.