Money Management

July 18, 2011

5 Things That Damage Your Credit Score

damage credit score

You credit score. Is it just a nominal number not worth worrying about, or is it a number you should take an active interest in? For many in Australia the credit rating system is something not to be taken seriously, but that little number can have a significant and direct bearing on your life. Would you like to buy a new car and use a loan to finance it? Your credit score will determine whether you can get it or not. Would you like to buy a new home or refinance your existing home loan? The bank will check your credit score to make sure you can pay it off. These are only two of the many scenarios when your credit score can affect your quality of life in a very real way. So it pays to acquaint yourself with how this score can be damaged!
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June 29, 2011

A Guide to Balance Transfer Limits

balance transfer limits

All the credit card mumbo-jumbo floating about can get very confusing sometimes so let’s take a simple look at some of the issues surrounding balance transfer limits in language we can all understand.

What is a Balance Transfer Limit?

A balance transfer limit is the limitation set on how much debt or ‘balance’ you can transfer from an old credit card (or cards) to a new one. When you apply for a new card there will usually be an introductory offer of some description where you’ll be offered a good interest rate for a set time frame for balance transfers. So in other words, if you choose to transfer some debt from an old credit card to a new one, you might enjoy a much lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying for a time period of say 6 months on that debt/balance. It varies from card to card. There will, however, be a limit on how much balance you can transfer from old card/s and this is called the balance transfer limit.
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June 17, 2011

The Problem of Minimum Payments

minimum payment problems

Credit cards are a powerful purchasing tool that must be managed correctly to prevent undue financial hardship. Most cardholders open a credit card account with the intention of paying the balance in full each month, but then an unexpected event occurs. The first time a balance is carried over, the debtor realizes that the minimum payment is an option that will leave some slack in the budget. A dangerous road lies ahead if the balance remains outstanding and minimum payments are made. Some of the most obvious perils include:
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May 27, 2011

The Most Prestigious Australian Credit Cards

exclusive credit cards

As the demand for elite credit cards grows, more and more banks are launching “invitation only” credit cards for their wealthier customers. They are a level above platinum cards, which in themselves tend to be a level above the standard reward cards on offer from most of the Australian banks.

Besides being a status symbol, such prestige cards offer account holders an extensive range of rewards beyond the usual frequent flyer points and discounts offered by less exclusive cards. The variety of currently available exclusive cards is limited, but increasing, with each specialised to fulfil the needs of the jet-set and business class. So if you’re looking to get rewarded like never before on your big spending, checkout out list of the most exclusive cards currently available in Australia!
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May 5, 2011

PayPass vs PayWave: Contactless Credit Cards in Australia

PayPass vs PayWave

Have you heard of Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass? Basically they’re a new technology that allows you to make fast, contactless payments with your card on small purchases under $100. No pin, no signatures, no fumbling for cash and you don’t need to wait for a receipt (unless you want one). You just wave the card by the machine and voila.

According to ‘The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice’ (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010), about 21% of consumers in the USA have a contactless debit card, while 26% have a contactless credit card. This contactless payment system is fast becoming the norm with new contactless payment devices cropping up in stores around the globe and around Australia fast. Its hard to track down exact numbers of Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass cards now in circulations but suffice to say roll out in Australia is rapid with more and more banks issuing them and more terminals showing up in retail stores, fast food restaurants and stadiums.
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May 4, 2011

10 Cool & Unusual Piggy Banks

10 Cool & Unusual Piggy Banks

The piggy bank has become a financial icon, symbolising frugality and personal savings. It is so widespread because of how simple it makes the money-saving process for children to understand. It’s simplicity of function is also seen in how simple it traditionally appears. Traditional piggy banks are your basic ceramic pig. However, as time has passed, many people have updated and jazzed up their piggy banks: some are practically modern art while others are highly technological and functional. Here are a few of my favourite jazzed up piggy banks. Enjoy!
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April 6, 2011

3 Reasons to Avoid Only Paying the Minimum Repayments

credit card

In Australia, more and more people have allowed themselves to get into credit card debt. Unfortunately many of these people are servicing their outstanding debt each month by only making the minimum payments required by the credit card companies – a basic money management mistake. While this will prevent you from being charged late fees, there are various reasons why you should avoid only paying the minimum payments on your credit card debt.
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February 7, 2011

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Raising Your Credit Limit

credit limit

The credit limit is an important component of any credit card, dictating the amount of money you are able to borrow. Credit limits vary greatly from person to person and largely depend on your credit score – the better your credit score, the higher limit you are likely to have. Your credit limit isn’t all purely down to your credit score though, many banks will award credit limit increases to customers who have a proven good payment history. In addition, as your credit profile improves you can apply to open a card with a higher limit, but you should be aware that declined applications can damage your credit score and therefore potentially lower your limit. Depending on your spending habits, a higher credit limit can be good or bad for numerous reasons. Here is an overview of some of the many advantages and disadvantages of raising your credit limit.
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January 12, 2011

The Debt Snowball Repayment Plan Explained

Debt snowball

So many people in Australia are personally in debt because of poorly disciplined spending. This out of control consumption gives not only instant gratification, but also long-term financial headaches. Credit cards reach their limits, balance transfer offers dry up, and the trail of “free” money eventually ends.

To dig out of the financial mine before it collapses, your best option is to start using the debt snowball repayment plan. Read on to discover what a debt snowball is, who uses it and when, how it works, and how you can follow a step-by-step guide to benefit from your own debt snowball.
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