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Credit Cards Explained

Credit cards seem to be accepted just about anywhere these days. Even many fast food restaurants are now accepting credit cards. Many people have at least one and often several more credit cards. Credit cards can come in handy and be quite useful. They can also cause a lot of problems. Many bankruptcies are the result of credit card spending gone bad.

The most commonly used credit cards are Visa and MasterCard. There are others, of course. With a credit card you will be issued a credit limit. Depending on your credit history and the type of credit card, the limit can vary greatly. Some cards may only have a limit of $250 others may be in the 1000’s. A business credit card may have a limit of $50,000 or more. You are able to charge up to your credit limit.

Each month your credit card company will send you a bill. You will be shown a minimum payment that you must make. There is always the option of paying off your balance in full each month. You can also pay more than the minimum due amount. This provides an excellent way to pay off your credit card sooner.

When you make a purchase with a credit card at a store, restaurant and other places, you will be asked to sign a receipt. The store will keep a copy of your signed receipt. They may ask to see your credit card to ensure that the signatures match. If you shop online, you will not be able to sign for your purchase, of course. Instead, you will need to enter some information. The credit processing service will make sure that the information you entered matches the information on file with the credit card company.

Most credit cards work in the same way. There are differences with secured credit cards. However, with most cards you will receive a credit limit. If you go over that limit, you will most likely be charged over limit fees. Credit card companies will charge you fees if your payment is late. Each credit card will have an interest rate. Interest is applied to your remaining balance on your card each month. The rates of interest vary between credit card companies.

Credit cards do provide a way for people to make purchases when they do not have enough cash to do so. This is not always a bad thing as long as people are responsible about working to pay off their balance as soon as possible. It is also important to make sure that you budget enough money to make your credit card payments each month. Credit cards can also be helpful in an emergency when you are short on cash.

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