Managing Your Finances When Living Paycheck to Paycheck

It is never ideal for a person to live paycheck to paycheck. And if the idea of living paycheck to paycheck sounds stressful, imagine actually living life this way. Many people who don’t have a high-paying job have to find a way to live comfortably, and learning to manage your finances is a great start. […]

The post Managing Your Finances When Living Paycheck to Paycheck appeared first on Credit Absolute.

Source: creditabsolute.com

Credit vs. debit card: Which is the smarter Choice? – The Points Guy

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. On the outside, credit cards and debit cards look a lot alike. They both have 16 digits, expiration dates and security codes on the back. But credit cards and debit cards are not the same and there’s often debate in the financial world …

Source: thepointsguy.com

9 cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new card offers and information. Credit card welcome offers and sign-up bonuses are the fastest way to top up your points and miles stash. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a massive bonus post to your account and realizing how much of the …

Source: thepointsguy.com

How to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is on the rise. Millions of Americans are in over their heads. They’re losing sleep, losing control, and worried about what the future will hold. But there are solutions, and consolidation is one of the best.

Consolidation works by “consolidating” multiple debts into one. It’s the perfect solution for mounting debt, one that doesn’t destroy your credit score, liquidate your assets, or make it difficult to acquire mortgages and personal loans in the future.

With that said, let’s look at some of the best ways to consolidate credit card debt.

Option 1: Do It Yourself

The idea of debt consolidation essentially boils down to acquiring a large, low-interest loan and using that to repay multiple high-interest debts. If your credit score is high enough, you can get that loan yourself, clear your credit card debts, and then focus on repaying the loan.

Do It Yourself Consolidation Explained

The average credit card APR is close to 20%. If you have a balance of $10,000 and a monthly payment of $300, this APR will cost you over $4,700 in total interest and your debt will be repaid in just over 4 years. If you were to acquire a $10,000 personal loan at a respectable rate of 8% over the same 4 years, you’ll pay just under $1,800 in interest.

That’s a saving of nearly $3,000 over 4 years, and it’s based on an 8% rate (lower rates are available) and on the assumption that you don’t accumulate any credit card penalty fees or penalty APRs, which are very common on rolling balances.

Pros

  • You Will Save Money: As noted above, this process could save you a lot of money over the long-term and will also free up some additional cash in the short-term.
  • Complete Control: You don’t have to worry about company fees and service charges; you don’t need to concern yourself with hidden terms. With this credit card consolidation option, you are in complete control.
  • Easy on Your Credit Score: While your credit score will take an initial hit because of the loan inquiry and the new account, as soon as you use that loan to clear your credit card debts you should see an improvement. Just remember to keep those cleared cards active, otherwise, your credit utilization ratio will drop.

Cons

  • Good Credit Needed: For this option to be viable, you will need an excellent score. Anything less and you may struggle to be accepted for a low-interest loan. Let’s be honest, if you’re struggling with growing credit card debt, the odds of you having a flawless credit score are pretty slim.
  • On Your Own: While there are benefits to doing everything by yourself, it can also be a little time consuming, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be intimidating.

Option 2: Work with a Debt Management Company

Credit counseling agencies can help you manage your debt by working with your creditors. A new payment structure will be created, and your money will go straight to the agency, after which it will be released to your creditors.

Debt Management Consolidation Explained

To begin the process, search for reputable debt management services in your area. They will assess your situation and determine if you are a good fit for the program. Some charge fees, some don’t, but all will serve as an intermediary between you and your creditors.

Every month you will make a single payment and the money will then go to your creditors. The agency will negotiate reduced payments by bringing the interest rates down and removing fees, therefore making these debts cheaper and more manageable.

Pros 

  • Professional Help: Get quality support from an experienced debt management company, one that will assume control and take the stress away.
  • Cheap: This is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective ways to clear your credit card debt, greatly reducing your total interest repayments.

Cons

  • Fees: Some debt management companies charge fees for their services, although these tend to be nominal and you’ll still save more money in the long-term.
  • Canceled Contract: If you fail to make one of the agreed-upon repayments, your creditors may cancel the improved contract and revert back to the previous terms, erasing all the agency’s hard work.

Option 3: Balance Transfer

A balance transfer is a promotion offered on new credit cards. It invites you to move your balance from your current card to a new one, and in exchange, it offers a period of 0% interest. 

You will need to pay a balance transfer fee, and this is typically charged at between 3 and 5% of the total transfer amount, but it’s often one of the cheapest and easiest ways to consolidate credit card debt.

Balance Transfer Consolidation Explained

As an example of how balance transfers work, let’s imagine that you have three credit cards, each with a maxed-out balance of $10,000 and an APR of 20%. If you’re repaying $300 a month, that’s $900 a month and in 4 years and 2 months, you’ll pay around $14,000 in interest to clear the full $30,000.

Alternatively, you can move all three balances onto a single balance transfer card with a $30,000 limit. Immediately, that balance could grow to $31,500. If you continue paying $900 a month and the balance transfer period lasts for 18 months, the balance will be just $15,300 when interest begins to accrue again. And if you use that 18-month period to initiate a debt repayment strategy, you could clear it in full and avoid paying any interest.

Pros 

  • Multiple Balances Can be Consolidated: You can consolidate multiple credit card balances, providing you’re not moving them to the same creditor.
  • No Interest Repayment: If you plan it properly, you can repay your balance in full before accruing any interest.
  • Available to Everyone: Credit cards are generally easier to acquire than low-interest personal loans and you won’t need an excellent credit score to get a good one.

Cons  

  • Higher Interest: The interest rate and fees may be higher once the 0% balance transfer period ends. If you use the intro period to avoid repayments and not to clear your debt, you could find yourself in serious trouble when interest begins to accumulate again.
  • Large Limits May be Difficult: The bigger your current credit card balances are, the harder it will be to get a balance transfer card with a large enough limit.
  • Fees: Although it’s a great option for consolidating credit card debt, it’s not completely free, as you’ll pay an initial balance transfer fee.

Option 4: Debt Consolidation Loans

Some companies offer specific loans tailored toward debt consolidation. These options work a lot like personal loans, as they are large loans designed with consolidation in mind. However, there are a few key differences, including the fact you don’t need an excellent credit score.

Debt Consolidation Loans Explained

The ultimate goal of debt consolidation loans is not to save you money in the long-term or to reduce the debt period. In fact, it does the opposite. The goal is to reduce your monthly payment and give you a smaller rate of interest, but it does this while increasing the loan period, which means you ultimately pay more money over the term.

Pros

 

  • More Money Every Month: Your monthly payments will be reduced, freeing up some extra cash to use every month.
  • Cleared Debts: Your credit card debts will be cleared in one fell swoop, potentially giving you some financial breathing space.

 

Cons

  • Longer Period: The total length of your debt will be extended, which means you’ll be stuck with the debt for a prolonged period.
  • Cost: While you’ll save some money every month, you’ll do so at the cost of an increased overall balance. Depending on your credit score, you could find yourself paying thousands more in total repayments.

Other Credit Card Debt Consolidation Solutions

If you have a supportive and financially-free family, you can ask them for the money to clear your debts and then promise to repay them in time. 

Of course, this option isn’t without its problems. Firstly, there’s the old adage that you should never lend money to friends or family. It may seem pretty heartless, but it’s a saying steeped in experience. It causes problems, as that debt is right at the bottom of the borrower’s list of priorities and if they’re skipping payments and begging for relief, while at the same time buying new clothes and going out every night, it can anger the borrower.

To avoid these issues, agree to pay them in monthly installments, offer a little interest, and get everything in writing. Make that debt your priority, because by skipping your payments you’ll be hurting your finances and your relationships.

Don’t guilt-trip a friend or family member into lending you money. Don’t ask them unless you have a very close relationship with them, have known them a long time, and know they can easily afford to lend you money. The last thing you want is for them to leave themselves short or to acquire debt just to help you out.

Alternatively, if you own a significant amount of home equity, you can opt for a home equity loan. This will give you a sizeable loan charged at a small rate of interest. It will take longer to repay your mortgage, but by reducing your debt demands you’ll save more money in the long-term.

How to Consolidate Credit Card Debt is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

2021 Personal Finance Calendar: Keeping Your Finances On Track In The New Year

With key financial responsibilities like insurance, taxes, and retirement savings bouncing around your head, what should you focus on and when in 2021?With key financial responsibilities like insurance, taxes, and retirement savings bouncing around your head, what should you focus on and when in 2021?

The post 2021 Personal Finance Calendar: Keeping Your Finances On Track In The New Year appeared first on Money Under 30.

Source: moneyunder30.com

Annual Fee Refund Credits on Chase Hyatt Legacy Cards

Multiple readers reached out about annual fee refund credits on their Hyatt card (legacy version). A lot of people are confused by this credit or thinking that it’s part of a pandemic credit program, but it seems to be related to the conversion that took place on January 11 of the legacy Hyatt card to the World of Hyatt card. Chase is apparently prorating the annual fee, and then presumably a new annual fee will post soon to the card, perhaps on February 1.

Hat tip to readers Mike S and B.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

How to get a cash advance with Capital One

Using a credit card for all your regular spending lets you avoid carrying cash in your wallet, and you’ll also get an itemized bill of your charges at the end of each billing period. Beyond the convenience credit cards offer, using a credit card can also help you earn rewards on your spending, and some cards offer consumer protections and benefits you just can’t get with other forms of payment.

But, did you know you can use a Capital One credit card to get cash out of an ATM? You typically can, but you should make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages involved in doing so.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to get a cash advance from a credit card from Capital One. We’ll also answer all your burning questions. For example: does Capital One charge for a cash advance? Also, which Capital One credit cards offer this option?

See related: Best rewards credit cards

What is a cash advance?

A cash advance is a credit card transaction that lets you get cash in exchange for new credit card charges. This means you’ll use your credit card at an ATM just like you would with your debit card, but the cash you get out will show up as a charge on your credit card bill.

You may be wondering why you would take cash out on your credit card instead of using your credit card for whatever you need to buy. However, we all know there are situations where cash is still king, and using a credit card as payment may not make sense. For example, you may find your debit card isn’t working, but that you need cash right away to repay a friend. Or maybe you want to make a purchase from an individual who doesn’t accept credit cards as payment (e.g. you want to buy a piece of furniture off Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist).

Just remember that you will have to pay fees to access cash using your credit card at an ATM. Not only is there an upfront cash advance fee you’ll have to pay no matter what, but the interest rate on cash advances is higher than the standard variable rate for purchases.

Not only that, but a Capital One cash advance doesn’t come with a grace period. This means the cash you access with your credit card will begin accruing interest from day one. That makes a cash advance significantly more expensive than a credit card charge for purchases, which won’t begin accruing interest until a grace period of at least 21 days ends.

How to get a cash advance with Capital One

To be eligible for a Capital One cash advance, you’ll need to have a Capital One credit card. From there, you’ll need to know if your credit card comes with a personal identification number or PIN.

How to get a cash advance if your credit card has a PIN

If your Capital One credit card has its own PIN, you can use your card to get cash out of an ATM. All you have to do is insert your credit card in any ATM just like you would with a debit card. From there, you’ll enter your pin and follow the instructions to execute a cash advance.

According to Capital One, you’ll need to understand any fees the ATM might charge if you choose these options. And remember, ATM fees charged for a Capital One cash advance will need to be paid on top of the Capital One cash advance fee.

How to get a cash advance if your credit card doesn’t have a PIN

If your credit card doesn’t have a PIN, you can still use your Capital One credit card to take out a cash advance in a brick and mortar banking location that displays the Visa and Mastercard logos.

According to Capital One, you will need to provide a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) along with your credit card if you go this route.

Also, keep in mind that your credit card may also send out “convenience checks” that can work similarly to a cash advance. All you have to do to use a convenience check is make it out to yourself. From there, you’ll head to your bank and deposit the check or ask for cash.

Which Capital One cards offer cash advances?

All credit cards from Capital One let you take out cash provided you have enough available credit on your card. However, Capital One credit card interest rates for cash advances can vary, so make sure you know your card’s cash advance APR ahead of time.

Cash advance offered? Cash advance fee Cash advance APR (variable)
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10) 26.99%
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10) 24.49%
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10) 25.49%
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10) 25.49%
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

24.99%

 

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

25.49%

 

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One Yes 3% (minimum $10) 26.99%

 

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

 

Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Yes 3% (minimum $10)

 

26.99%

 

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business Yes 3% (minimum $10) 26.99%

 

Is a cash advance right for you?

When it comes to getting a cash advance from your Capital One card, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. At the end of the day, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider before you use your credit card to get cash.

Due to the fact that cash advances require upfront fees, you should probably only use this option if you can’t get cash out with a cheaper option like your debit card. Also, keep in mind that, if you can use your credit card to make a purchase directly instead of taking cash out, you’ll get a grace period that lets you avoid interest accruing right away.

Pros and cons of cash advances

Pros:

  • Get cash when you need it, or when a credit card can’t be used
  • Cover emergency cash expenses when money is tight or between paydays

Cons:

  • Cash advances require an upfront fee, usually 3% to 5% of the amount of cash you take out
  • Credit card interest rates are higher on cash advances than purchases
  • No grace period, so interest begins accruing right away

Alternatives to cash advances

Because taking out a cash advance isn’t cheap, you may also want to consider some alternative ways to access cash when you need it. For example, you can consider a personal loan if you are able to wait a few days to access your cash. Many personal loans can be applied for online, and you’ll get a competitive fixed interest rate, a fixed monthly payment and a fixed repayment timeline that will never charge.

You could also take out a 401(k) loan provided you save for retirement in this type of employer-sponsored account. Another alternative is taking out money you have deposited in a Roth IRA account, which you can do without paying any taxes or fees provided you are deducting contributions only.

Other alternatives like payday loans and car title loans exist, but you should steer clear of these options since they can be even more expensive—and problematic—than taking out a cash advance.

The bottom line

Your Capital One credit card comes with some important benefits, and it’s nice to know you could use it for a cash advance if you really needed to. However, there are cheaper ways to get your hands on the cash you need, so try not to fall into a cycle of taking out one cash advance after another.

Using your credit card to get cash from an ATM may be convenient, but it will cost you.

*All information about the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business and Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Source: creditcards.com