Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Credit Card Applications: What the Fine Print Really Means

When you apply for a credit card, reading through all of the small print on the application can be a drag. And with everything so fast-paced, do you really have time for all of that? Most people will respond with a "no." They'll simply fill out the application and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, not understanding the fine print can bring trouble your way. You might get hit with high fees or interest rates that you weren't expecting. But by taking the time to look over the fine print, you can potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars in the future. Here are a few things to look for as you read the terms and conditions listed with the credit card:

Rewards with Conditions

Rewards cards are popular these days, but it's important to know what you're getting into before you apply. Some of them come with a higher interest rate, and others include restrictions on the rewards you can receive. You also may find that you'll need to pay an annual fee with the card. So look over the details and make sure that you can really benefit from this type of card before sending in an application.

APR Details

Many credit cards come with 0% APR (annual percentage rate) period. During this time, no interest is charged to your account. When that time period comes to an end, however, a regular APR sets in. You'll want to know what this rate is before you apply.

You'll also want to be aware of other changes regarding the APR. If the APR is variable, the company is allowed to change it at any time. If the interest rate is fixed, it is less likely to change. The company, however, still reserves the right to change it when they want to - they just need to let you know about it before they make the change.

Some cards will increase the interest rate if you miss a payment. Also, certain companies will charge a different APR, depending on whether you are making a purchase, transferring a balance, or taking out a cash advance. Sound confusing? It can be if you don't know about the details. Take the time to read through the APR notes; they can really help you in the long run.

Extra Fees

Some of the fees included in a card are laid out very clearly, but others are not. Before you send in a credit card application, check to see if it charges an annual fee. Also look for the fees charged for late payments or over-the-limit fees. All of these could set you back if you're not aware of them. If, on the other hand, you know about them, you'll be able to avoid any unwanted fees.

In short, reading the fine print can be time-consuming, but it is well worth your time. If you find a term in the form that you do not understand, you can call the credit card company to ask about it before you apply. Understanding the fine print is key to a long, healthy relationship with your credit card.

Crazy, But True Car Insurance Claims!

Below are just some of the crazy, but true car insurance claims which Motor Quote Direct's clients have reported…

When Animals Attack…

A huge variety of animals have been blamed for causing damage to cars, and indeed causing accidents:

"I was passing through a country lane, where a farmer was herding his cows. A couple of them seemed a bit lively, and weren't particularly keen to be herded where the farmer wanted them to go… Instead they made a bee-line for my car (which had obviously offended them in some way) - and decided to lean, push against and butt it. Despite the farmer's best efforts to control his cattle, my car suffered several dents and scratches and a wing mirror was knocked clean off!"

"I was sat in a traffic jam, and felt something sort of tickling my leg… I looked down, and screamed - it was a spider. In a blind panic I tried to get it off me, and inadvertently drove into the back of the car in front of me."

"I was driving down a residential road, when a dog ran out into the road without warning. I swerved and avoiding hitting the dog; but unfortunately hit a lamp post head on."

"I had taken my cat to the vet in her carrying basket, and left her in the car whilst I made nipped into the supermarket. However the latch on the basket obviously wasn't closed properly - as the cat escaped the basket and decided to claw and scratch my leather seats to shreds".

Doing it for the Kids

It seems that children cause their fair share of accidents too -

"My kids were arguing in the back seat, and it was sending me bonkers. I turned round to give them what for, and accidentally got a bit close to a couple of parked cars scraping the full length of them."

Getting in Deep Trouble

Another common problem seems to be those streets close to rivers which are liable to flooding.

"I'd been driving for a couple of hours and was feeling tired so I pulled over to catch 40 winks. I woke up and was shocked to find water lapping at my feet, inside the car."

Steve Pratt from Motor Quote Direct says "The stories which come out surrounding people's car insurance claims never fails to amuse me."

"It goes to show that the unbelievable really can happen - so it's important to make sure you've got the right car insurance cover".

Stranger than Fiction

"We've seen everything from fruit, to livestock, to freight boxes falling off the lorries and causing damage to people's cars; you really couldn't make it up!"

For most car insurers, it is amazing for them to receive the many unbelievable car insurance claims that are launched against their policies. Although they are often bizarre at times, it is a known fact in the insurance industry that people will try to do make whatever claims they can in order to try and ‘joop’ the insurance company with their chosen policies.

Travel Health Insurance

Travel health insurance is a type of insurance which provides health insurance coverage during traveling, usually in a foreign country. In this the insured pays an amount called the premium to the travel insurance company for the coverage. The coverage usually provides coverage for medical costs incurred during travel and in some cases also covers medical evacuation.

Travel health insurance usually comes bundled up with trip interruption/cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage loss, emergency evacuation and medical expenses coverage. The usual premium is about 200$ annually. However the premium depends a lot on your age, cost of trip (for single trip insurance coverage), the distance of trip, the nation to which the trip is being made, any preexisting health conditions etc. Some travel health insurance plans also cover accidental deaths and flight accidental death.

The plans that cover the medical costs on your trip include medical expenses, dental expenses, cost of treatment and cost of medicines. These covers come attached with lot of conditions like if you take medicines from unconventional medical sources like acupuncturists or ayurvedic treatment, the costs will not be reimbursed.

However if you are already covered by a health insurance, it is prudent to check whether it covers outside the United States or whether it provides only for emergencies.

Medical Evacuation: travel health insurance provides for medical evacuation to nearest qualified medical health facility. Here the catch is nearest medical health facility and not to the US. So if you are traveling in an underdeveloped country, you may be forced to take medical treatment at a facility decided by the insurance company and is not decided by you. The treatment in the US is one of the best and other countries including Europe have a higher surgical mortality rate.

Repatriation of mortal remains. In case of death the travel health insurance company will bear the cost of returning the mortal remains of the insured.

There are other conditions like co-insurance, deductibles, exclusion, benefit period, pre-existing conditions etc which have to be carefully studied before buying a travel health insurance policy.

Credit Card Counseling Debt Consolidation

Credit card debt consolidation may take many forms.

People with good credit score, who have a high level of revolving credit debt, can easily get loan at lower interest rates for credit card debt consolidation.

People who have less credit but have equity in homes can choose credit card debt consolidation with home equity debt consolidation loan.

But some people are being totally consumed by credit card debt. Such people often live from paycheck to paycheck. Most of these people need help to consolidate credit card debt.

If you are drowning in high interest credit card debt and wish credit card debt consolidation, nothing to worry; credit card debt counseling is most successful and best way of tackling this problem.

If you find any problem regarding credit card debt consolidation, it will be wise to seek debt consolidation counseling.

Be very cautious while deciding upon a company for credit card debt consolidation. Even non-profitable groups can be dishonest. Some of them are just brokers who do very little to eliminate your debt and charge high fees.

You can ask to other people who have already gone through debt counseling.

How credit card counseling can be helpful for you?

1. Consolidation counseling will help you negotiating with your creditors to offer you credit card debt consolidation loan at lower interest rates.

2. Right debt consolidation counseling will help you increasing your debt pay off time length.

3. They will help you learn how to be in control of your debt.

4. Counselors will help you know how transferring your balance to zero interest rate credit card is helpful in credit card debt consolidation. Equally important, you learn how to be in control of your debt rather than allowing it to be in control of you.

One or two meetings with debt counseling will provide you required information to eliminate credit card debt.

Online Forex Trading - Beginners Guide

When it comes to forex trading, understanding the terminology and the forex trading strategies before you begin is vital. There are many web based companies that provide online forex trading tutorials that revolve around real time forex trading. Using a forex tutorial will give you the beginner knowledge you need to take part in trading forex.

After you have completed your forex tutorial there are some basic forex trading tips that all beginners will find useful. The most important thing to remember when trading forex and the most important forex trading strategy is to remember to always place stop loss orders. Using this strategy in your online forex trading will help to prevent and limit your losses.

The next important step for online forex trading is to take profit orders at the same time as placing your stop loss orders. This is done by using the OCO order function that is available with most online forex trading systems. Take profit orders work on the same basis as the stop loss orders and help to eliminate the risk of locking into a profit too early.

Another beginner’s tip is to use a positive risk/reward ratio. This means that you should choose the amount you are willing to make on your forex trade beforehand and it should be more than or equal to the amount that you are willing to loose. This tip is essential if you want to be successful in your forex trading.

It is important for any forex trading beginner to note that successful online forex trading takes patience and is a long term investment. It takes controlled forex trading along with discipline and patience to make your forex trading profitable. Continued research and forex tutorials and guides will help you to learn more and remember as with all successful ventures; knowledge equals power.

Consolidating Student Loans: What You Need To Know

Don’t miss the Opportunity. Grab it, exploit it! Money matters a lot. Consolidating student loans can relief you from your nightmare. It can simplify your student life and can make you fulfill your ambition. With consolidated student loan your multiple payments can be consolidated to only one payment. You can pay less per month and for a longer period.

How To Get It Done?

You are assumed to have many outstanding loans with variable interest rates. In a consolidation process, defaulted student loans in which all volatile interest rates become a single fixed rate for the entire period of the loan. Student loan consolidation rate is an average interest rate calculated for flexible loan rates. Normally, repayment period can go up to 30 years, depending the amount you owe. Before finalizing any deal, you must know the details. What are the loans you are eligible for consolidation? Here are some tips. You can consolidate the following outstanding loans:

1. Subsidized federal student loans.

2. Unsubsidized federal student loans.

3. All federal direct lending student loans.

4. Federally insured loans for students.

5. Students’ loan for health education assistance.

6. Private Student loan taken from any authorized financial institution.

7. Federal supplementary loans for students.

8. Federal nursing student loan.

This list is not at all exhaustive. Many other types of student loans can also be consolidated. The financial institutions can verify eligibility criteria for consolidation of loans. Know your eligibility!

1. If you are in a grace period, forbearance or deferment on all loans are being consolidated.

2. If your repayment arrangements are satisfactory with your defaulted loan holder.

3. You have to agree with an income sensitive repayment schedule on consolidation of your loans.

Your Hurdle Is Over!

Don’t worry. You may not be eligible for your private college loans consolidation, but your basic problem is solved. While making the deal you just have to certify that you do not have another federal loan consolidation application pending. And of course, your current lender does not have the provision of loan consolidation.