How do you pay off credit cards?
When managed properly, credit cards can be a convenient way to access cash and reap rewards. As convenient as they can be, it’s important to keep on top of your repayments so you don’t end up paying more in interest than the item originally cost. Each month, you’ll get a credit card statement detailing how much you owe and how long it will take to pay off the balance by making minimum repayments. If you only make the minimum repayments, it will take you years to pay off your outstanding balance and add extra costs in interest charges. To avoid any extra charges, you should pay the entire bill.
Many people want to know how to get a free credit card. The reality is that all credit cards come with associated costs when used to make purchases – even if it’s simply the cost of making repayments.
However, many lenders offer incentives for customers such as a $0 annual fee or 0 per cent interest on purchases during an introductory period. You may be able to cut down on the usual costs associated with a credit card by comparing and choosing the right card to suit your requirements.
Additionally, paying off your balance in full during an interest-free period means you could only have to pay back the cost of purchases without interest. You could also be eligible for additional rewards such as cashback during that time, saving you more money.
There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. One way is to pay via BPAY. This means you can make your credit card payment on the phone or via the internet.
You can set up an automatic payment from an Australian bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
Different Australian banks will also allow you to pay off credit card bills in person at one of their branches.
Some credit card companies also allow you to pay your credit card via an app whenever each statement is due.
To get a new credit card, generally you need to be at least 18 years old and have a good credit rating. You don’t need to be an Australian citizen. Usually you can apply online or in person at a branch of the card issuer. You’ll typically have to supply information like:
- What you regularly earn (e.g. wages, salary) and what you regularly spend (e.g. rent/mortgage, loan repayments, living expenses)
- Your employer’s contact details
- Details of your assets and any debts you are paying off
Before applying for any credit card, be sure you can afford the repayments. It also helps to do some research, comparing different credit cards and what they offer in terms of fees, interest, rewards etc.
Credit card interest can quickly turn a manageable balance into unmoveable debt. So being able to understand how interest rates translate into dollars is an important skill to acquire.
The common mistake people make is focusing on the credit card’s annual percentage rate (APR), which often sits between 15 and 20 per cent. While the APR does provide a rough idea of how much interest you’ll pay, it’s not entirely accurate.
This is because you actually accrue interest on your balance daily, not annually. So, you need to work out your daily periodic rate (DPR). To do this, divide your card’s APR by the number of days in a year (e.g. 16.9 per cent divided by 365, or 0.05 per cent). You can then apply this figure to the daily balance on your credit card.
You do not need a credit card to get a loan, but you usually need to have a credit history. Without a credit history, a financial institution cannot assess your ‘credit worthiness’, or your capacity to pay off the loan.
If you don’t have a credit card, your credit history can reflect any record of paying off an asset, such as a retail loan for goods.
Without any credit credit history, you’re limited in the type of loans you can apply for, but you may be able to obtain a secured loan against an asset by providing evidence you have stable income through a full-time and secure job, an unblemished debit card history and regular monthly saving. The loan, however, may come with higher interest rates and repayments.
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