Considering Joint Credit? Buyer Beware!

Joint credit cards are basically credit card accounts that are opened in the name of two people. Usually these people are a married couple or in some sort of relationship who are already sharing checking accounts and any other finances or a parent and his or her children. The two parties have an agreement to take full responsibility for the charges on the credit card regardless of who spends the money. As a couple it becomes much easier to manage bills and it also limits the number of accounts that you hold. Having a joint credit card is also a way of boosting your credit standing especially if the primary credit card holder has an outstanding credit score. In this kind of financial arrangement, you must be able to agree on how to spend the money. You should make decisions together especially if you want to make huge purchases.

Applying for  credit cards jointly process

The first and important step is to decide on which one of you becomes the primary card holder. The person who has the strongest credit standing should be the primary holder. The name of the primary holder is what appears on the credit scoremonthly bill. Then, apply for a joint credit card from any financial institution. Some of the institutions that give these credits cards include: credit unions, chain stores, banks or major oil companies for gas. Most of these credit programs also allow you to apply online. It is also possible to apply for these cards over the phone. If you decide to use the phone, ensure that you are with your co-signer as he or she will have to verify his personal information. Some of the information required includes your first and last name, date of birth, your social security number, your full home address, your job and your household income. It is very important for you to only get this type of a credit card with a person you know and trust. This is because if your co-signer misuses the card, you can be held responsible for the charges along with any penalties. If you and the co-owner of the credit card do not agree about spending habits or limits, it is not advisable to hold a credit card jointly. Read more here.

Benefits of joint credit cards

One of the major benefits of these cards is that both parties can share the bill. This makes it easier to manage card payments and to minimize balances. Also when the time comes to settle the debt, it will be much easier to decide on which balance to settle first. For some couples, this makes them feel closer to one another.Adding your significant other or family member with a poor credit rating to your card can help him or her to improve his or her credit standing. As a couple you can benefit in the long run by improving your credit scores which can help you to qualify for a mortgage with favorable terms.As a parent, holding a credit card jointly with your child can help in encouraging responsible use of credit while keeping a watchful eye. You can evaluate the charges that your child makes and if necessary discuss them with him or her. This teaches you child how to develop and maintain sound fiscal habits.These cards can also enable a person with a poor credit score to obtain lower interest rates and a higher credit limit that the person would not have got if he or she applied for an individual account.

Drawbacks

Just like everything else holding a credit card jointly has its disadvantages. Some of those disadvantages include:
Misuse of the card by one party adversely affects the credit of both parties. This can have lasting financial consequences. It may also cause unwanted strain in your relationship.Differences in spending habits are amplified. You and your co-signer may not agree on how much should be spent and for what. Sharing the credit card can aggravate the complications that arise from that. It can be a very good thing if the two of you can sort out those issues together but it can also be very hard.If in case you are unable to work out your differences and you break up or separate, the debt still remains even after the relationship is gone. The outstanding debt becomes an item in the list of things to be settled during divorce if it comes to that. The only way to get out of the debt is to clear all the outstanding debt as soon as possible and remove your name from the account.

Does a joint or shared credit card negatively affect a credit score?

The answer is yes. If you can not agree on the spending limit and pay back the outstanding debt your credit score can be ruined. If you have a strong credit standing but the other person misused the credit card, you might end up with bad credit. To protect your credit score, you should make regular payments so that neither of your credit standing suffers. If you end up divorcing, it is advisable to close all the joint accounts as soon as the joint credit cardsrelationship ends. This is because the other party could keep charging if you do not close the account which could end up ruining your credit score. To avert such eventualities, write to your creditor and officially notify them of the situation. In your letter, clarify that as soon as the balance is fully settled the account must be closed. Request the credit company for a current statement of the account. Make it clear to your creditor that you have no intentions whatsoever to be held liable for charges made after the date of the official letter. To ensure that the mail reaches safely and on time to the creditors, use certified mail.

All in all holding a joint account is a big step and thus it should not be taken lightly. It is not a requirement for every married couple to have joint credit cards. Equally, not every child is ready to have a shared account with his parents or guardians. If you are intending to sign up for a joint credit card account, it is advisable to thoroughly discuss with the other person involved. Otherwise you and your child or partner could end up in a lot of trouble.

The Benefits of a Limited Credit Card

If you have a bad credit score you can fix it over time with a limited credit card. You have to be patient because it’s not going to happen overnight, but if you get the right kind of card and make your payments on time, every month, your score will increase so that you qualify for other loans. Not all secured credit cards are equal, so make sure you perform a little research before applying for any card.

 

A limited credit card is easier to get than an unsecured card. Although if you prove you’re responsible, you’ll be eligible for an unsecured card in about a year. There are guidelines that go with both with cards. For example, if you’reLimited Credit Card late making a payment, some cards will charge you a $35 late fee and they’ll charge you interest on the balance. Also, not all cards have the same benefits. Some companies will report your payment activity to TransUnion, Experian and Equifax and some won’t.

 

If you want to improve your credit score, make sure the company will send your payment report to the credit bureaus, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. Most companies will disclose their policy on the corporate website.

 

Understanding Limited Credit Cards

 

A limited credit is different than a traditional credit card because you have to make a cash deposit to secure the account. Your spending limit will be based on your deposit amount so the more you pay upfront, the more spending power you’ll have.

 

It’s your money, but you’ll have to pay interest on the balance just like a regular credit card, and if you’re not careful, you could end up owing more than the initial deposit so make sure to make all the payments on time. Also, some companies will limit the amount you can deposit to $300 or $400 in order to make sure you don’t get in over your head.

 

There are a number of things you should look for before you sign up for a limited credit card. The most important is to make sure the company will report your payment history. Look at the annual percentage rate. Since secured card providers take a risk extending credit to consumers like you, they tend to charge an outrageous APR. Once you fix your credit score, you can stop using that card, but you’ll have to use it to develop a good payment history. The only way around that is to find a company that offers the lowest annual percentage rate possible.

 

You should also be aware of the fees and penalties on limited credit cards. One of the most common fees is called a monthly account maintenance fee. It is a fee you’ll have to pay on top of everything else so make sure you know how much a company will charge you before you open an account. Limited cards also have very stiff penalties for late payments or if you go over your limit.

 

Some companies will allow you to go over the limit so they can charge the extra fee, so be careful not to over extend yourself. All the fees and penalties should be clearly written in the fine print and on the credit agreement so be sure to read it thoroughly and carefully.

 

While many limited credit card companies will require an initial deposit of $300 to $400, some may require more. Look for a card that has a deposit requirement that’s reasonable because it’s something that you have to pay in one lump sum. The good thing is that as soon as they receive your payment and issue a card, you have access to the money.

 

You use a limited credit card the same way you use a regular credit card. In fact, no one has to know you’re using a secured card. Be careful not to exceed your limit and make sure you have the financial ability to make a payment every month. If you get laid off from your job, it may not be a good time to use your card.

 

Even though money was deposited into the account beforehand, you still have an obligation to pay back what you have charged on the card. That’s why you got the card the card in the first place, to prove you are responsible enough to make payments every month. You should also try to pay at least the minimum amount if you can’t pay it in full for any particular month. Remember, that every time you make a payment, it’ll be recorded on your credit report.

 

You’ll also want to keep all the payment receipts. Set up an envelope or a file at home so you can insert all the payments you’ve made. Include a copy of the bill and a copy of the check or money order you send in because if you have to prove you made payment, it’ll come in handy.

 

Click here now to learn how to get a limited credit card today. You’ll learn more about the process and how to improve your credit score.