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What You Should Know about a Personal Home Improvement Loan

What You Should Know about a Personal Home Improvement Loan

Personal loan is an installment loan that allows you to borrow a lump sum amount. The usual length of the repayment term runs from 3 – 7 years. Using the loan calculator, you can estimate how much monthly payment you are to pay with different length of repayment terms. Long repayment term has low monthly amount but keep in mind you are also paying more interest when you take longer to repay the installment loan. Short repayment term has high monthly payment but you also pay lesser interest and get to settle the loan faster.

Personal loan only allows you to borrow up to $40,000 to fund small home improvement projects. It is not necessarily that the amount you want to borrow will get approved. The lender will assess different areas of your finance before sending you a final decision that inform you how much you can borrow. You must meet criteria such as minimum annual income, stable employment, decent credit score and debt to income ratio when you apply for the loan. Ideally, you should not have taken out any new debt in the past 24 months.

If you want an inconvenient way to get the funding, you should apply for the personal loan with internet lenders including online personal loan lender and p2p lender. You don’t have to wait for so long if you apply for the loan online. Online lenders review applications faster and you can expect to hear an approval decision from them within 1 week. The funds will be direct deposited into your account within a few days from the approval date. Just like bank loan, your payment will be reported to the credit bureau so it is important to make payment on time.

Every time you apply for a loan, the lender will perform a hard inquiry and deduct some credit score points on your credit report. Hard inquiry will remain on your credit report for a maximum of 2 years. Therefore, you should try to apply one loan at a time. If you want to compare the available loan offers, you can use the loan preapproval feature. The preapproval feature lets you know at how much interest rate you would be approved for the loan.

The interest rate for a personal loan can range from 5% – 38%. Higher interest means you will pay longer to pay off the entire loan. Low interest rate makes the loan affordable so you can pay it off faster.

Having a good credit score on your credit report can help you to get approved for a loan with cheap interest rate. If you haven’t checked your credit score for a long time, you can request one free copy from the credit bureau and review the entries. Reporting an error entry can help to raise your credit score a bit and help you get a better interest rate.

Comparing the Discover More Card versus the Citi Simplicity Card

The Discover More Card and the Citi Simplicity Card are both credit cards that are a great fit for card holders with good to excellent credit scores. Card holders who fail to have a credit score above 670 may find that both of these credit cards are not ideal for them.

The Discover More Card’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR) ranges from 11.99% to 20.99%. Card holders with credit scores above 750 will likely be paying closer to 11.99% in APR. 11.99% is a fairly low APR compared to other credit cards. However, if the card holder’s credit score begins to sink, they will likely find their APR increasing closer to 20.99%. This of course is a very steep price to pay for late payments. Therefore, the Discover More card is a good option only for customers who are confident that they can keep their credit score consistently high. The Citi Simplicity Card has an APR ranging from 16.24% to 26.24%. This range is much higher than that of the Discover More Card. Customers who choose their credit card based solely off the lowest possible APR will likely gravitate towards the Discover More Card.

Both of these credit cards feature $0 in annual fees for cardholders. This makes them equally ideal for customers trying to avoid paying extra fees for owning a certain credit card.

Only the Discover More Card offers a cashback system for purchases made using the credit card. The card offers up to 1% cashback on all purchases made anywhere and anytime. It also adds in a bonus of 5% cashback on purchases involving travel, gas, groceries, restaurants, home improvement, and other specific expenses. The cash accumulated from cashback earned on the card can be redeemed through gift cards to over 100 different participating companies. There is also no limit on the amount of cash a card holder can accumulate. The Citi Simplicity Card does not offer a cashback or reward system for its customers. This makes the More Card better suited for frequent spenders, as they can quickly rack up cashback from purchases to use on future expenditures.

Which Card Has More Rewards Citi Simplicity versus Discover More

The Citi Simplicity Card offers a special 0% APR for the first 12 months of card activity. This introductory APR allows new card holders to not worry about forgetting a card payment in their first 12 months of card usage. After the first 12 months, the normal APR between 16.24% and 26.24% will kick in. The Discover More Card offers the same 0% introductory APR, which lasts for 12 months as well. Both cards offer a generous introductory APR, which is great for card users to determine if they are able to pay off their credit card payment on time to avoid paying interest.

The Simplicity Card has a 5% transfer fee for customers who want to transfer their debt from one Citi credit card to another. The transfer fee also has a maximum value of $5, which avoids excessive fees on transfers larger than $100. The Simplicity Card also gives new users a balance transfer APR of 0% for the first 21 months of card activity. This gives peace of mind to customers who plan on frequently transferring debts from or into their Simplicity Card. The More Card has a 0% APR for transfers for the first 12 months of card use. After this, the normal transfer fee is 3%, but does not have a maximum fee.

Comparing the Perks of the Citi Simplicity versus the Discover More Card

The Citi Simplicity Card assures its customers that bill payment can be set up on any day of the month to provide for further convenience to every customer.

The Discover More Card features a 23 day grace period before interest begins to accumulate on the payment, allowing customers who forget to pay their bill almost an entire month to pay it off. The More Card also has a 2% foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside of the U.S.

Both the Discover More Card and the Citi Simplicity Card are good credit card choices for individuals with good to excellent credit scores. The More Card has an advantage in its rewards, as it offers a generous cashback system. The Simplicity Card may not have a cashback system, but its introductory rates are superior to that of the More Card.

Best Chase Credit Cards for Groceries

Chase has issued a few credit cards that you can use to earn rewards when shopping for groceries. By using a cash back credit card, you can save a few percentage on the total bill and cut down your expenditure on groceries. The following are the 4 best Chase credit cards for groceries.

1. Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back when you spend money in the bonus categories that you activate in each quarter. The spending limit is $1,500 per quarter. In the years past, they have always included grocery as one of the bonus categories. All other purchases you make qualify for unlimited 1% cash back. When you spend $500 in the first 3 months, they will credit $150 cash back as signup bonus in your account. The signup bonus is available to newbies only. The card also include a 15 months zero percentage intro period, after which a variable APR in the range of 16.49% – 25.24% will be charged.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a flat 1.5% cash back on everything that you purchase. You can use this card to pay for your groceries every time and build up your rewards. You don’t have to go to the customer service to redeem the 1.5% cash back as it is automatically credited into your account. Just like Chase Freedom, it comes with a 15 months 0% APR intro period and a $150 signup bonus when you spend $500 in 3 months. You can receive a $100 cash back from each person that you successfully refer.

3. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card by Chase offers 3% cash back for all your purchases at and Whole Foods Market. In addition, you can earn 2% cash back when you use your card to pay for your dining bill, pharmacy and pump has at a local petrol station. Using your card to pay for other purchases will also give you 1% cash back. If you are a new card member, you will receive a $50 gift card which you can use to purchase merchandise at for free for up to the card value. The card charges a variable APR in the range of 15.74% – 23.74%.

4. Chase Slate
Chase Slate is a 15 months zero percent balance transfer card. Chase Slate does not offer any cash back or signup bonus program. When the 15 months zero percent intro period ends, they will charge you a variable interest from 16.49% – 25.24%. With this card, you can keep track of your FICO score. There is no annual fee and penalty APR fee.

The 3 Best Airline Credit Cards for Hawaii

Getting an airline credit card allows you to earn miles for your trip to Hawaii. Miles are useful for redeeming a variety of free stuff such as flights, accommodation, car rental, and spa. The miles will translate into a lot of savings if you frequently travel to Hawaii. The following are the three best travel and airline credit cards for traveling to Hawaii.

1. Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard features a signup bonus program that award customers with 35K bonus miles for spending $1000 within 90 days from account opening. Using the card to book your ticket with Hawaiian Airlines will earn you 2x miles per dollar spent. You will earn 5,000 bonus miles if you spend $10,000 with your Hawaiian Airlines card every year.

Every card holder is entitled to a one time 50% discount on the round trip ticket from Hawaii to North America. You’ll also receive a $100 companion ticket that can last for 12 months. You can share the miles with friends through ShareMiles program. Members of Pualani members club will also enjoy discounts. The primary card holder can enjoy free first checked bag.

2. Citi Aadvantage Platinum Select
Citi Aadvantage Platinum Select card offers 60,000 American Airlines Aadvantage bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. If you use the card to book a ticket from American Airline to Hawaii, you will earn 2x AAdvantage on per dollar spent. You also earn 2 miles on per dollar spent at the restaurants. They give a $100 American Airlines Flight discount for customers that spend $20K or more on American Airlines in one year.

The card offers free perks like free first checked bag and preferred boarding when traveling to domestic destinations with American Airlines. Cardholders can also earn back 10% of the points they’d redeemed every year. There is no foreign transaction fee on the Citi Aadvantage Platinum Select.

3. United Mileage Plus Explorer
United Mileage Plus Explorer card offers 30,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 within 3 months from account opening. Spending $25,000 in one year, allows you to earn 10,000 bonus miles. Adding the first authorized user and making the first person in the first 3 months will qualify you to get 5,000 bonus miles.

United Mileage Plus Explorer card allows you to earn 2 miles per dollar when you shop with United Airlines. Some of the perks that you will enjoy are first free checked bag, priority boarding, 2 years pass to access United Club airport lounge, 25% off in-flight purchases, and $100 statement credit. There are also lots of hotel benefits for example, upgrading to a better room, check in earlier and free complimentary meals.

What are the Easiest Credit Cards for People with No Credit History?

People with no credit history often have difficulties qualifying for a regular credit card. That is because there is no way for the creditor to determine whether they can pay on back on time. However, you should no be disappointed because you can still apply for a secured credit card. There are also a few unsecured cards that would approve people with no credit history. The following are the 4 easiest credit cards to sign up if you have no credit history.

1. Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Credit Card is an unsecured credit card with a high APR starting from 19.99% – 26.99%. If you are on time in making payment for 5 months, you can enjoy a higher credit line. CreditWise allows you to monitor your credit score from your account. The due date is around 25 days at the end of a billing cycle. The card features a $0 fraud coverage, extended warranty, auto rental insurance, price protection and 24 hr travel assistance. The annual fee is $0. It has other types of fees like cash advance (3%) and late fee ($38).

2. Capital One Secured Mastercard
Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured card that can build credits score and reports to three credit bureaus. The variable APR for Capital One Secured Mastercard starts from 24.99%. You must put a security deposit, which is equivalent to the credit line. There are 3 options for the security deposit including $49, $99 and $200. The credit limit will raise when you are on time in making repayment for 5 consecutive months. It features 24/7 online banking. It has no annual fee but it has late fee ($38) and cash advance fee ($3%).

3. OpenSky Secured Credit Visa Card
OpenSky Secured Credit Visa Card is a card that can be applied without any credit check. The refundable security deposit starts from as low as $200. Most people who apply for this card starts with no credit history and they start seeing increment on the credit score within 6 months. The regular purchase APR starts from 18.64%. It has a few fees including annual fee ($35), late fee ($27), cash advance fee and foreign transaction fee (3%).

4. Citi Secured Mastercard
Citi Secured Mastercard is an secured credit card that can be used to build credit score. It requires you to put a security deposit from $200 – $2,500. The security deposit will be put in a Collateral Holding Account. It offers auto pay and online bill pay to assist you to stay on track on making repayment. The regular variable purchase APR is 23.99%. The card has no annual fee.

How to Consolidate Your Debt with Discover Personal Loans?

Discover personal loans allows you to borrow from $2,500 – $35,000 to consolidate your debt. You can consolidate credit card debts and other unsecured loans with Discover personal loans. Borrowers can use up to 70% of the loan amount to pay off the debt.

After you are approved, you must provide information on the creditors that you want to pay off. Discover will help you to consolidate your credit card and other financial obligations. You can also pay off the creditors yourself if you want.

You can qualify for a Discover debt consolidation loan as long as your credit score is higher than 660 and you make more than $25,000 per year. If your credit score is below 660 and you need a poor credit personal loan, consider lenders such as or as potential alternative options. The lowest interest rate that you can get approved with Discover is 6.99% with the maximum interest rate capped at 24.99%. They will check your creditworthiness when determining the interest rate. Usually, when you have high credit score, they will give you a low interest rate.

If you apply the debt consolidation loan with Discover, you don’t have to pay the origination fee. Discover allows borrowers to change the due date for 2 times per year. The feature is useful when you are facing some financial problems and need more time to come up with the money to make repayment. They charge a $39 late fee for every late payment you have submitted. Discover waives both the personal check processing fee and returned payment fee.

They offer customers who have problems paying back the loans the option of calling the customer service and discussing alternative ways to settle the payment. Customers who are able to pay back the Discover loan in 30 days will not have to pay any interest charges.

Discover loan can be used to build your credit score as it reports to the 3 national credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. As you make repayment every month, you can also keep track of your credit score from your account.

Discover personal loans can only be applied online or by phone. To apply online, you must visit the Discover website and fill in a form. After you submit the application, they will carry out a soft credit check. They will send you an email and let you know whether you are preapproved.

If you proceed with the loan application, a hard credit check will be performed. When the application is approved, they will ask you to choose the repayment term which can range from 3 – 7 years. The fastest you can receive the fund is at least 1 business day. Sometimes, they will take up to 1 week to release the funds for example, they may require you to provide more documentation to approve the loan.

Balance Transfer Promotions to Cover Your Tax Balance in 2018

If you used your credit card to pay your taxes in 2018, there is a potential that you will have to pay high-interest fee when paying off the balance. Instead of continuing to rack up interest expenses for this credit card, you can get a balance transfer card and transfer the tax balance. This allows you to save money on the interest fee while paying back your tax balance. The following are the best 4 balance transfer credit cards in 2018.

1. Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi Diamond Preferred has the longest 0% intro promo for balance transfers that lasts for 21 months. The APR will be 14/24% – 24.2% following the intro promo period. The intro promo for purchases only last for 1 year. The card does not require you to pay any annual fee. Like other card, it has a 5% or $5 minimum balance transfer fee. The card offers other extra features such as 24/7 concierge, automatic account alerts, and Citi Private Pass.

2. Citi Simplicity

The Citi Simplicity Card offers 0% promo for the first 18 months, after which they will charge an APR interest from 15.24% – 25.24%. If you want to enjoy the interest free 18 months period, you must transfer your balance within the first 4 months. It charges a 5% or $5 minimum balance transfer fee whenever you transfer a balance. Using this card can help you to save an incredible amount of money when you are using to pay your tax balance. It features a low price protection called Citi Price Rewind that allows you to redeem up to $500 on per item. You can redeem up to $2,500 of items annually.

3. Santander Sphere
Santander Sphere offers up to 18 months interest-free period for balance transfers if you transfer your balance in the first 90 days. After the 18 months, the regular interest of 13.74% – 23.74% applies. Every dollar that you spend will earn you one reward point. The card has no annual fee. There is a 4% balance transfer fee everytime you transfer a balance. To get approved, you must have a good credit score of 680 or above and a debt burden below 40%. You have a high chance of getting approved if your credit score is higher than 700.

4. Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer
Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer card waives the APR interest in the first 18 months for balance transfer. The 0% intro rate for purchases only last for the first 6 months. Each quarter, you get to earn 5% cash back when you spend on selected categories. Other purchases will earn you unlimited 1% cash back. The cash back can be redeemed at any time regardless of the amount. The card has no annual fee.

Why a Zero Percent Balance Transfer Might Be the Best Way to Save Money for You in 2018

Zero percent balance transfer card charge zero interest for a certain timeframe to encourage customers to use the card. No interest will accrue on the balance when you leave the balance to roll over to the next month. This gives you a peace of mind to come up with the money and pay back the outstanding balance.

Most of the intro promo will last more than 6 months. If you visit the credit card comparison site, you will see a lot of balance transfer cards offering 15 – 18 months zero percent intro promo. There is only one card with 21 months intro promo, the Citi Diamond Preferred. You can use this type of card to consolidate your existing credit card debts with moderate or high interest rates. It is also suitable for funding a large purchase if you can pay back within the zero percent promo period.

The zero percent promo often causes people to forget about other costs that come with the card. Balance transfer cards may charge balance transfer fees and other fees like administration fee, late fee, penalty rate and etc. You must make sure that these fees do not exceed the interest that you would save when you use the card to repay your debt.

If you want to apply for a card with long promo, you will need to have a good or excellent credit score. You can request for a free credit report from the credit bureau to check and see if you have good credit score. As a rule of thumb, you should get preapproved for 3 – 4 balance transfer cards and then you can slowly do research on their features to decide which one is the best to sign up.

Your zero percent balance transfer card may have a rewards program that can let you earn points. It rewards you with either a flat rate or based on spending in quarterly rotating bonus categories. You can check how much points you have accumulated by logging into your account. Points earned can be exchanged for cash back or statement credit or free flights or hotel discounts. The rewards program may have spending limit or minimum redemption requirements. You should understand how the rewards program work and work out whether how much money you could save from it.

It is important to note down the last day of the intro promo period. In this way, you can budget accordingly and pay down your debt in full by the time the intro promo period expires. If you decide to consolidate your debt with a zero percent card, make sure you have enough revenue to fully pay back the debt by the time the promo period expires.

7 Tips for Effective Credit Card Use in 2018

A credit card can be a great financial asset when you know how to use it properly. There are lots of people who did not use credit card responsibly as they should and end up wrecking a large amount of debt. The following are 7 tips on how to effectively use credit card in 2018.

1. Pay Off Your Balance in Full at Month End
If you use your card to shop regularly, you should also pay off your balance in full every month. This prevents the balance from rolling over to the next month and letting the APR interest accrue. It only takes a bit of discipline to set aside the money at the month end.

2. Make Repayment to Your Credit Card Bill On Time
You should always pay your credit card bill on time so that you can build up your credit score. If you exceed the due date, you may get a raise in the penalty APR or be charged with a late fee. If you can’t afford to pay your balance in full, you should try to make the minimum payment.
3. Spend within Your Means
Spending within your means can prevent you from getting into debt. As a rule of thumb, you should stick to a credit utilization ratio of 30% or less for all your credit cards. This will make it easier to you to pay back your credit card.

4. Learn How to Earn and Redeem the Rewards
When spending money on credit card, make sure to that you are also earning rewards that can enable you to reap the most out of the rewards program. For example, if your card has bonus rotating categories reward program, you should try to spend money in the bonus rotating categories. Some cards offer a flat rate rewards on all purchases.

5. Know Your Credit Card Benefits
It is important to know what benefits the credit card has. Many credit card offers benefits like 24/7 concierge, car insurance, zero dollar liability, and extended warranty. This extra benefit is actually useful. For example, with extended warranty, you can get a free exchange when the merchandise is damaged even after the original warranty has expired.

6. Get a Card with Zero Percentage Intro Offer
It is best to apply for a card with a zero purchase intro where the interest fee is waived for a certain period. If you want to use the card to pay for something expensive, you can get a card with a long zero percentage intro for purchases. On the other hand, you should get a card with long zero percentage balance transfer offer to quickly pay off your debt.

7. Don’t Apply Too Many Credit Cards
Finally, you should not have too many credit cards in your wallet. Holding 1 – 2 cards in your wallet is sufficient for meeting all your expenses. Opening too many credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score.

How to pick the right balance transfer credit card

Balance transfers may end up being costly, if they are not done right or done with expensive credit cards. Below are a number of factors to consider when looking into transferring or consolidating your credit card balances into one or more cards.

The Introductory Rate

The introductory Interest rate may decrease or eliminate monthly fund fees in your balance transfer for a certain length of time. Eliminating finance fees may make it feasible for you to pay back your credit card balance in a shorter amount of time and at a monthly re-payment schedule that makes more sense for you financially. A 0% interest rate is perfect, but a very low interest rate – like 2.99 percent – is great also.

The Amount of credit card debt you have is a significant consideration for two reasons. To begin with, you might or might not qualify for enough charge on a balance transfer card to pay all your current credit card debt. This may mean you will need to apply for a number of offers if you would like to move all the debt to a 0% card.

Second, your monthly minimum payment could be higher than what you’re spending now. You will want to be certain that you know what the minimum payment will be and your budget can handle it.
The Introductory Period

Once the introductory period expires, you will be paying attention in the regular balance transfer speed (which is sometimes exactly like the buys speed). You do not want to end up paying a high-interest rate after the promotional period ends, particularly if the promotional period is not long enough for you to repay the complete balance transfer.

Many credit cards offer the identical introductory rate for your purchases and balance transfers, making the offer more attractive. However, an introductory purchases speed may work against you. If you are racking up charges on the card since there’s a promotional rate, you are working against any attempts toward paying off the balance transfer.
The Balance Transfer Fee
Balance transfer The bigger the balance transferred, the greater the fee will be. What is significant is that the balance transfer fee does not negate the interest savings you are getting by shifting your balance. If you discover a credit card that does not charge a balance transfer fee, consider it strongly.
Your Credit Score

Credit Card issuers do not publish their underwriting criteria. It is generally known, however, the best card offers require a good credit rating. While there’s no minimum score required, in my experience that you wish to target for a FICO score of 700.

If you don’t understand your credit rating, there are lots of free tools available to get access to your score. Among the free choices is credit card issuers. You’ll get a list of these issuers here.

Whether You Qualify

Don’t assume that because you get an offer to get a 0% rate which you will be approved. Credit card issuers send out bulk pre-approval offers to customers who meet certain basic criteria. There’s a possibility that you can not ultimately qualify for the low rate of interest balance transfer.

Some If, for some reason, you are not prepared to transfer your balance straight away, you need to wait to apply for the card or choose a credit card that does not ask that you make the transfer upfront.

Credit Card issuers don’t enable you to transfer debt from one of their cards into another. For those who have debt on a Citibank card, you cannot move it to another Citibank card. This is very important to keep in mind when looking for balance transfer cards. You may find a terrific deal, but it will not do you much good if it’s with the same issuer which now holds your debt.