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Maximize Your Financial Health with the Right Credit Card Opportunities
Do you want to:
When you evaluate your options carefully, you take control of the borrowing relationship. First Financial online options let you decide which rewards, fees and other benefits will power your family’s cash flow long term. We’ve answered the most common questions about the best credit cards here.
Our financial experts reviewed all the information for each card and listed the important facts so you can quickly measure which features best match your needs at this time.
What Kind of Borrower Are You? Consider Your Habits When Selecting Credit Cards
Which borrowing group do you belong to?
For each card, we’ve created a bulleted list that covers:
Credit cards from our network of lenders not only ensure the perks to match your goals, they give you power over your purchases. In fact, credit card use has more benefits than convenience. Typically, card holders enjoy higher credit scores, as well as more travel and spending options. Data from the most recent Household Report on Debt and Credit indicates conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that Americans embrace the opportunities credit provides. Consumers debt balances have been increasing steadily for the past six years. Credit card usage has now reached the same level it was in 2008 before the Great Recession.
Finding the Right Credit Card Starts with Knowing Your Credit Score
After defining how you’ll integrate credit card usage into your overall financial plan, your next step before applying for credit cards is to know your credit score. Borrowers who apply for that average card offer that comes in the mail are often surprised when they get turned down. After all, the envelope said, “you’re pre-approved*” with several suspicious asterisks. Applying results in a credit inquiry, and if you don’t meet the issuer’s criteria, your credit score drops and you still don’t have a card. Doing a little research to find out which borrowers the lender will approve keeps your credit score healthy.
Consider lenders targeting consumers with your goals and financial details. Unique audiences include
New to Credit
New-to-Credit (NTC) means that you either haven’t had a credit card yet or you are rebuilding credit. You’re at the starting line of credit establishment. Those who fall into this category are often students or new graduates or those who’ve just been through a bankruptcy. In these cases, the secured card is your best bet. You might grumble at the most serious of the secured cards requirements: you have to transfer your own money from your bank account to the card before using it. Also, the limit can be very low, typically from $300 to $500. The good news is that within about six months, if you’ve paid your balance every month, the card issuer begins sending you offers for a standard credit card. Use this card strictly for convenience and to build a foundation for your credit. Keep the balance no higher than 30 percent of your credit limit.
If you know that you’ll be carrying a balance for at least a year, having a 0 percent interest card can save you hundreds of dollars. You might be consolidating your debt to one card or have a large purchase to make. In both cases, however, a personal loan rather than a credit card could be the better option, especially if you don’t foresee being able to pay the loan off within the 15-month introductory period. While the personal loan rate of from 7 to 15 percent starts accruing right away, that rate remains stable for the duration of the loan, often 10 years. Most credit card companies recoup the losses of having the 0 percent card for 15 months once that 16th month comes around and they can charge 29.99% on that big balance.
The No Balance – Rewards Collector
This credit card user knows how to maximize every dollar. He or she uses the card for convenience, to maintain credit score and to collect rewards. Paying the balance off every month dials finance charges down to zero. Making those charges, however, builds up the rewards. This borrower is organized, making sure to never miss a payment. No wonder she has excellent credit!
This borrower doesn’t have to worry if the rate is 29.99 percent APR. Those charges won’t impact her. Instead, she can shop for the maximum in cash back or travel deals. Some cards match the miles the consumer has accrued, often translating to hundreds in plane fares. Competition for borrowers is stiff and credit card companies are constantly increasing not only the meat and potatoes of travel cards reward—the miles—but extra bonuses like no baggage fees or access to swanky airport lounges. If you plan to use the card for convenience and rewards, keep researching until you find the card that will return the most for your unique travel habits.
Retired and Active Duty Military
Soldiers can struggle more than civilians to keep finances stable. Frequent deployments mean statements from banks and lenders get lost. Injuries and medical issues interrupt regular pay and lead to mounting medical bills.
If your credit score isn’t perfect, our network of lenders understands that members of the armed forces deserve special consideration. They figure in habits like reliable rent, cable and phone bill payments to credit worthiness. You can rely on our fair, poor and bad credit credit cards to make life easier for you.
First Financial’s fully online network of lenders ensures you can find the card that fits best with your personal finances. More, online automation means we don’t have the expenses involved in physical branches or a large pool of tellers and bankers. We pass our savings onto you with credit cards that have the lowest interest rates and best rewards in the industry.
As you explore your options, you’ll see that each card requests you fill out a short online form. Once completed, someone will call you within 48 hours to finalize the process or you’ll receive an email with your approval.
First Financial keeps your fees low, your credit score high and your money flowing positively.
Our easy applications require just a few lines of information to get started.
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