Chicago Consumers Might Notice An Increase in Credit Card Offers As Banks Loosen Up Credit
Don't be surprised if you see an unfamiliar site in your mailbox soon - credit card offers.
That's right, after many months of tightening up credit, banks are on a mission to lure back customers they hope will start spending again as the economy picks up. And that means more credit card pitches, according to Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.
It's a good sign for the economy. But it can be a bad sign for careless consumers. As always, using a credit card to spend more than you earn can quickly land you in debt - and with a host of new fees, these new cards can make it harder than ever to climb back out.
Today's credit card offers aren't what they used to be. Yes, new legislation keeps creditors from raising interest rates on most existing accounts. But credit card companies can charge whatever they want on new accounts - as well as on existing variable rate accounts - so expect higher rates than in the past. And remember, no matter what kind of account you have, banks still have the right to change your terms if you're late on a payment.
And while credit offers of the past touted special promotional terms like zero interest and no fees, many new cards offer no such benefits. Instead, watch out for brand new charges like annual account maintenance fees and penalties for balance transfers and ATM withdrawals.
Bottom line is, if you're in need of building your credit, you soon might have an easier time getting a card. But that doesn't mean you should. Before you apply, read the fine print and make sure you know what you're getting into.
And if you're already struggling with debt on other cards, you need to be worrying about how to get a handle on your credit - not add to it. Bankruptcy is an effective way to get your finances back under control. By offering an affordable way to pay more than the minimum on your debts, filing for bankruptcy can eventually lower your monthly payments, freeing up more of your paycheck. Want to know if bankruptcy can have a positive impact on your finances? Find out for free with a personal debt analysis courtesy of a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.