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10.0Mohammad Reza Kazerouni

What your credit card company is not telling you

If you count yourself among the millions of Americans who are currently struggling with mounting credit card debt, you are not alone. Many people across California and the nation find themselves falling deeper and deeper into debt when it comes to credit cards, and this is no mistake on the part of the credit card companies. After all, the longer you keep a balance floating on your card, the more money they can make off you in interest.

In fact, contrary to what you might think, credit card companies typically do not want you to pay off your balance because, at that point, they can no longer assess interest on your balance. What else do the credit card companies not want you to know?

Late payments – to anyone – can raise your interest rate

You may already know that paying your credit card bill after the due date can cause your interest rate to rise. You may not know, however, that paying your car or mortgage payment past the due date can also lead to a credit card interest rate increase. Depending on how much debt you have, even a seemingly minor rate increase can be a major financial setback, so be sure to stay on top of all your bills to avoid this fate.

“Fixed” rates might not be so

Sometimes credit card companies will try to lure you by offering fixed-rate credit cards, implying your interest rate will stay the same permanently. Most credit card agreements have information within the fine print that dictates otherwise, however, and this language allows them to jack up your rate while providing you with little more than an inconspicuous letter in the mail beforehand.

You might be familiar with the old gambling adage, “The house always wins.” In many cases, the same can be said about credit card companies – they are designed as such.

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