CREDIT cards are easy to come by, but not so easy to make work for you. Consumers are warned being caught out by credit cards could cost you your financial future.
National credit rating repair company Director GRAHAM DOESSEL urges people to educate themselves on credit cards and their credit rating – to avoid paying the price for years to come.
“Overdue payments on all bills, including repayments on credit cards are the biggest reason for defaults on your credit rating. These defaults can remain on your credit rating for 5 years, and impact your chances of obtaining further credit in the future” he says.
According to new figures from the RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, we are sinking into record levels of credit debt. We now collectively owe close to $49 billion, having been approved for 14.8 million credit cards – more than ever before. More than two-thirds of this whopping bill, or $35.5 billion, is accruing interest every day at an average punitive rate of 19.7 per cent per annum. It means Australians are wasting $7 billion a year in interest on credit cards.
Mr DOESSEL says more education is needed to ensure people are aware of the implications of both applying for and repaying credit debt.
“The statistics, and our experience shows Australians are struggling with credit. People need to develop the ethos that credit is not something that is granted, it is something that is earned. What they do right now can affect them for at least five years – good and bad” he says.
5 WAYS TO MAKE CREDIT CARDS WORK FOR YOU
1. Set yourself a limit and set your credit limit to this – then you won’t be tempted to overstep what you can afford to repay.
2. Don’t exceed the credit limit.
3. Don’t pay just the minimum balance on your card. If possible, pay off the entire balance within the interest free period. If you don’t, you will be charged interest right back to the date of purchase on each item thus forfeiting the interest-free period on those PAST purchases. What’s worse, you must pay the balance off in full before you will get any interest-free period on CURRENT and FUTURE purchases. If you have debt that remains on your card month to month you should look at a card that has a lower interest rate. It may not offer an interest free period, but the lower interest rate should save you more in the long run.
4. Be aware that interest usually applies immediately on any cash advances from credit cards – whether the withdrawal is within the interest free period or not.
5. Read the fine print on all credit applications and make sure the deal is right for you. Don’t be lured by promises of rewards or other special deals – concentrate on the fees, interest and repayments.
Mr DOESSEL advises anyone who has ever been credit active to obtain a copy of their credit file and check for any discrepancies. They can do so for free from the major credit reporting agencies – Veda Advantage, Dun & Bradstreet or Tasmanian Collection Services (if you are Tasmanian). This will be provided within 10 working days – or for a fee it can be provided urgently.
“It is common for people to not even realise they have a default until they apply for a car or home loan and are declined due to a bad credit rating” he says.
A credit file is compiled on any person who has ever been ‘credit active’. It lists personal details like name and address, but also any times the person has applied for credit, any defaults (overdue accounts), court judgements, writs and bankruptcies.
“A clear and healthy credit file really is the ticket to financial freedom. It allows people to do things on a whim – travel, borrow money, buy goods and go into business” Mr DOESSEL says.
If a credit file check does uncover some nasty surprises – it could be possible to repair the damage done by seeking out a reputable credit file repairer.
If people have any default, writs or judgements which have errors, have been entered unfairly, unjustly or just shouldn’t be there at all, a credit file repairer can help to remove the offending black mark and clear the file – something which people find very difficult to do on their own.
“Most times a credit reporting agency will tell clients that defaults are never removed, but can be marked as paid. People are then stuck with a dodgy credit rating for 5 years. But they shouldn’t have to put up with it, as it is possible to have many defaults removed. MyCRA has had up to a 91.7% success rate in removing defaults on files we’ve take on. Usually the turn around is 3-21 days” Mr DOESSEL says.
(Update: turn around times have increased on some files to 45 – 60 days due mainly to the delays in processing from creditors and ombudsmen services.)
The MY CRA website has more information for people who need advice on their credit file. There are fact sheets on how to go about removing defaults and more information on credit and its consequences in AUSTRALIA today.
http://au.pfinance.yahoo.com/credit-cards/features/credit_card_tips/index.html http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/australians-hit-record-credit-card-debt/story-e6frea6u-1225988447714 http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/money/money-matters/tips-for-reducing-credit-card-debt/story-fn3hwldr-1225995954494
Graham Doessel http://www.mycra.com.au/
Ph: 07 3124 7133
246 Stafford Road, STAFFORD QLD.
About MyCRA.com.au MyCRA.com.au is 100% Australian owned and operated and we are based in Stafford, a northern suburb of Brisbane in Qld. My CRA was developed for the sole purpose of giving clients access and ability to work with their Credit File. This is in order to give them the best chance of getting approval, getting a lower interest rate or just to reduce the upfront fees that can be associated with obtaining credit.
My CRA are able to help you get a copy of your credit file and from that determine how we can help repair a credit file. We have more than 15 years combined experience in working with and helping clients with their credit files. We are the fastest known credit rating repair agency in Australia. We can often remove judgements in as little as 3 days.
As Director I [GRAHAM DOESSEL] previously owned a very successful mortgage brokerage company “Mortgage Now” before establishing My CRA because I saw a great need in the industry for credit repair.