Credit is money you borrow from a financial institution such as a bank or credit union. Any credit you use is a debt that you must repay to the credit provider.
Of course, credit comes at a price – you generally have to pay interest, fees and other charges on top of your principal loan repayments.
Interest is the cost of borrowing money typically expressed as an annual percentage. If your interest rate is 15% a year, you will have to pay 15% of the amount borrowed on top of your loan repayment. This can add up to a lot of money over the course of your loan. So before you commit to a credit card, check the interest rate!
Getting the best deal
If you want to get the best deal, here are some things to consider:
- Shop around. Do your research on your credit providers and go for the card with the lowest interest rate and annual fee.
- Read the fine print. Before you commit, make sure you read the fine print to ensure there are no hidden fees.
- Take advantage of offers. Some providers offer introductory credit card deals that can include things like no annual fee for the first year, no interest rates for the first 12 months or reward points for signing up.
- Know your own limits. Credit providers may be quick to approve a substantial amount of credit – perhaps even more than you need. Make sure you get an amount you can pay off comfortably.
It’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to money, particularly when you borrow. We can help you understand the best way to manage debt, and how to ensure that it doesn’t get out of control.