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If you want the easiest way to establish a good credit history, apply for a credit card. There is no shortage of credit card companies or banks eager to extend you credit, even in today's financial meltdown. A credit card allows you to purchase products on credit wherever that card is honoured. You receive a statement once a month that reports the purchases you made with the card during that period. Normally, you do not use a credit card for large expenditures like cars or homes, but they are really convenient for smaller purchases like a meal at a restaurant, petrol, clothing, car repairs or groceries. In particular, credit cards offer three advantages:

â?¢ You need not carry cash with you while going for shopping, particularly if you are traveling abroad.
â?¢ You get free credit until your statements arrive.
â?¢ The monthly statement helps you to keep a check on your expenditure.

When you apply for a credit card, potential creditors ask you to give the following personal informationâ??

â?¢ Your monthly income
â?¢ Your monthly cash outflow
â?¢ Credit history
â?¢ Amount of savings, or if you have any funds
â?¢ Collateral

Creditors naturally will prefer that you have a high level of cash inflow, a lower level of outflow, a large amount of capital and a good credit history. But be assured, they will extend credit to you, even if you do not have such attributes.

When you apply for a credit card, creditors (mostly the banks) obtain a credit report from a credit bureau to confirm that you do not have a bad credit history. In addition to your personal information, creditors also consider the prevailing economic conditions to evaluate the risk. Since in a weak economy lots of people tend to lose jobs and fail to repay creditors get less willing to extend credit in such conditions.

The most popular credit cards are MasterCard, Visa and American Express. MasterCard and Visa allow your payments to be financed, but American Express requires that the balance be paid in full each month. These cards are accepted by many merchants. The merchants honour the card as they will lose customers otherwise. Many financial institutions issue MasterCard and Visa credit cards to individuals. Each financial institution makes it own arrangement with the credit card companies to do the billing and financing when necessary. The institution provides financing if individuals using the card choose not to pay the balance in full when they receive the statement, because this way the institutions typically earn a high rate of interest on the credit extended.

Author V. Perringwaydate added 2009-08-26 09:08:38

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