Choosing the Right Secured Credit Card

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It seems that everyone wants you to provide them with a credit card including hotels and airlines, even if you are able to pay cash. A debit card will suffice in some circumstances, but you may have a hold on funds or will need to pay a hefty deposit.

It can be difficult to get approved for a credit card with no credit or a poor credit history is difficult. A secured credit card could be the only way that you are able to start your credit or to improve on your credit history.

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Secured credit cards are good alternatives to regular credit cards. The difference is that you will need to put down a deposit that will act as your credit limit.

This security deposit is usually returned when the account is closed. Here is how you can choose a secured credit card.

The Fees

A secured credit card may have application fees, processing fees and annual fees from using payment solutions in South Africa. The fees for a secured credit card are described in the credit card offer and in the terms and conditions. You will need to look at these fees and understand them before you apply. If the secured credit card appears too expensive then rather find another.

Minimum Security Deposit

A secured credit card is secured through a deposit that is kept in a savings account and is only used if you default on your payments. You will have a minimum and maximum deposit limit.

A secured card that has a low minimum condition will be easier to get.

Credit Card Limit

The credit limit that you get on your secured credit card will be equal to your deposit.


The APR is the interest rate that is applied to balances that have been carried beyond the grace period. The finance charge will be higher if your interest rate is high.

Secured credit cards will usually have a higher interest rate but you can avoid paying interest as long as you pay your balance in full.

Timely Payments

If you want to re-build your credit then the credit card issuer will need to report to the credit bureaus. A secured credit card that does not report to the bureaus will not help with your credit rating.

Convert to an Unsecured Credit Card

The best-secured credit card is one that is able to convert into an unsecured credit card after a period of timely payments. Unsecured cards will have lower fees and a lower interest.



Credit Card Must Know Terms and Conditions


Credit Card Must Know Terms and Conditions

Credit cards have specific terms and conditions and before you choose or accept a credit card you need to understand these conditions.

You should in fact compare the terms and conditions of various credit card providers against one another as there are a number of factors to take into consideration before you accept anything. Trust our recommended provider for Payday Loans

There are some credit card terms that you will always come across as particular credit card must know terms and conditions. These particular items you will usually find as a common factor between all the credit card offerings.

You will be given an opportunity to review all the relevant terms and conditions of the credit card before finalisation as well as being sent a copy with your credit card. These should be kept in a safe place.

The terms and conditions of a credit card can be rather a lot of information which can often be confusing. A summary box is also provided where you will usually find your responsibilities and such.

There are some main terms that you will find in the credit card agreement being:

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)

  • Interest free period

  • Introductory rates

  • Fees and

  • Default charges.

So what is the credit card must know terms and conditions? And how will you make sense of it all?

Credit Card Terms and Conditions Made Easier

The first thing that should be explained is the main terms which are listed above, that you will see in the agreement.

1. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This interest that is charged on purchases that are made over a year. It is expressed as a percentage of the amount that was borrowed. The APR will include the interest on the amount borrowed as well as other mandatory non interest coats like a yearly fee. It will not show any avoidable charges such as a late payment fee.

2. Interest Free Period-This is the time frame where a customer will not be charged interest and is also the period time that customers have to clear their balance in total before interest is charged.

3. Introductory Rates-This is an interest rate that is offered for an initial period of time that is lower than the average rate. The introductory rate is usually applied to balance transfers and cash advances but can be applied to purchases. After the initial period is over the interest rate may then go up.

4. Fees-The fees that are charged with your credit card will vary across various providers. The general credit card fees include:

  • Annual fee: a fee that is charged per year for having a credit card

  • Application fee-when you apply for a credit card you will be charged a fee

  • Cash advance fee-you will be charged when making a cash advance

  • Balance transfer fee- when you transfer a balance you may pay a fee

  • Finance charge-this is an interest charged monthly fee for having a credit card balance beyond the grace period, which is the period of time you have to pay your balance in full.

  • Late fee- you will be charged a fee if you make a payment that is less than the required minimum or if the payment is late or both of these.

  • Over the limit fee-this is when you have a balance that is above the credit limit

  • Returned check fee- a fee is charged when the bank returns a payment check. This happens when there is not enough money in the bank.

  • Foreign transaction fee-if a transaction is made in foreign currency a fee is charged.

5. Default Charge-These are charges that occur when there is a missed or late payment.

These are the main terms that you need to know but you also need to know what is actually in the credit card agreement itself.

Credit Card Agreement Outline

The agreement for the credit card will include the following:

  • The credit limit and the information that explains how your credit card provider can change it.

  • The particulars of using the credit card in another country

  • How you are able to pay your credit card balance so that you don’t end up in Debt Review

  • The way your information is shared or kept private

  • The changes to your account that the credit card issuer can make

  • What creates default and what it means to default

  • What to do if your credit card is lost

  • How to close your credit card account

  • If there are disputes with credit card issuer it explains how

  • to handle them and

  • The legal organisation that imposes the agreement

You will need to read all the fine print of the credit card terms and conditions and fully understand the credit card must know terms and conditions plus keep up to date with your credit reports. If you are unsure about certain aspects it’s wise to ask your issuers before you accept a credit card.

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Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Affected Your Credit Score

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Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Affected Your Credit Score

Generally we think that our credit score is only affected by credit cards and loan, but in fact there are certain applications or late payments that can hurt your credit score.

Lets take a look at surprising things you didn’t know affected your credit score.

Overdue Library Books


There are many libraries that are now employing collection agencies to aid them in collecting overdue library book fines. Libraries might not report to credit bureaus, but debt collectors do and collection accounts hurt your credit score the most.

Requesting a Credit Limit Increase

There are some credit card issuers that will do a hard pull or enquiry when you request a credit limit increase. When you make this request they will check your credit history. Any enquiry will count 10% of your credit score and new enquiries can drop your score.

Unpaid Medical Bills

Unpaid medical bills are sent to collection agencies and this will show on your credit report.

Closing a Credit Card

When you close a credit card especially one that has a balance on your credit utilization goes up and this could affect your credit score.

Renting a Car Without a Credit Card

A car rental company will ask for documentation, a security deposit and could even run a credit check. The credit check is what will affect your credit score.

Unpaid Parking Tickets

Unpaid parking tickets could be sent to a collection agency and show up on your credit report. This blemish is not erased when you pay a collection, but it is updated to say you have paid.

Applying for Credit Cards

If you put in multiple credit applications your credit report will show multiple credit enquiries and this can drop your credit score.

Getting a New Cell Phone Contract

Your cell phone payments that you make each month will not affect your credit score, but applying for a new cell phone contract plan can hurt your credit if a credit check needs to be done to approve your application.

Not Using Credit Cards

You cant avoid ruining your credit score by avoiding credit cards altogether. There is a part of your credit score that is based on the types of credit you have and without credit cards you lose points.