Owning a credit card comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. At times things work out well, whereas at other times you may end up using your card in a wrong way. The key to use a credit card properly is knowing what works and what does not.
Family and friends do shell out advice constantly about cards. But not all advice are correct. Some common notions about cards are not worth considering at all. Know what these are and use your card wisely. Let’s check the worst advice about credit card usage.
1. Own as Many Cards as Possible
Usually this advice is doled out to emphasise that you can earn maximum benefits with maximum cards. And it will always be shared by someone who can afford so many cards. But that is not the case with everyone else. Multiple cards can make you develop a habit of spending unnecessarily just to enjoy the benefits.
This can lead to credit card debt. If you are unable to afford the annual fees and bills, then any benefit you derive from any card is nullified. So, do not go by the lifestyle of others. Check your budget and financial standing while choosing to own credit cards.
Tip: Own a card or cards only if you are able to afford them.
2. Pay Only the Minimum Due
This advice is quite common among cardholders. Usually, this advice is given by those who pay only minimum due each month. It is like bearing as minimum responsibility as possible while trying to ignore the bigger picture.
Paying only the minimum due will prolong your card debt. Additionally, you will incur more costs with your payable interest. The wise decision would be to clear your debt as soon as possible.
Tip: Pay the full amount each month and save money on interest charges.
3. Max Your Credit Limit
This advice is usually offered by those who can afford maxed out card bills or those who pay only minimum due. Maxing out your credit limit not only adds to your debt, but also decreases your credit score.
The recommended usage is 30% of your credit limit. Anything more than that, will affect your credit score. And reaching the maximum limit will result in high interest rates if you do not pay immediately. Other reason to not max out your card is that you need available limit for any unforeseen emergency.
Tip: Utilise up to 30% of your total credit limit.
4. Close Unused Card Accounts
This advice will be offered only by those who do not know exactly how card accounts co-relate to credit score. An essential factor of your credit score is the length of the credit history. This means closing any old card account would make it look as if you have a short credit history.
Banks prefer a long and excellent credit history, especially while lending financing for a mortgage or for a high amount. The longer your credit history is, the better is your credibility.
Tip: Do not close old or unused card accounts.
5. Apply For Multiple Cards at the Same Time
This advice will be given by those who do not know that multiple applications can affect the credit score. When you apply for multiple cards with different banks, each bank would perform a credit check on you. Each check would decrease your score.
Additionally, banks would know that you have applied at multiple sources, and may reject your application if you seem too desperate. The best thing to do is to research on all cards that you are eligible for, and choose to apply for the one that is the most suitable.
Tip: Compare quotes on different cards before you apply for a card.
6. Credit Cards Are Not Required
This advice will be given by those who have no need to build a credit score due to ample savings or inherited wealth. Credit cards are quite important to establish your credit score. Debit cards do not contribute to your score.
Any working individual should have a credit score for purchasing various financial products and services in the future. So, get a credit card, but use it wisely. Do not use your card for unnecessary expenses. Pay off the full balance each month.
Tip: Manage your card properly to establish an excellent credit score.
Things to Do With Your Credit Card
- Own only the cards that you can afford.
- Do not carry a balance into the next month.
- Use only 30% of your credit card limit.
- Do not close old or unused card accounts.
- Pay your card bills on time.
- Monitor your card usage each month.
- Use your card to build a reputable credit score.
Make the Best Use of Your Credit Card
A credit card will prove to be a valuable financial tool if you use it wisely. Learn more about credit cards and how they operate to know exactly what to do with them. Before you follow any advice on card usage shared by others, research on it to check whether it is true.
Follow any advice only if it benefits you, now and in the long run. Build a credible history with your card now, and easily get access to various banking products and services when required.
How is the Credit Card Grace Period Established?
Purchasing a Credit Card is the easiest thing to do and to shop using it is even easier. With just a swipe, the transaction is made, and the best part is that the moneyisnot withdrawn from your savings account. You pay off this amount at the end of the month or in the form of small instalments set by your bank, you slowly pay off the debt. The duration offered to clear the dues by the Credit Card company, for which no penalty is chargeable is termed as the grace period. Your billing cycle gives you a defined time-limit to clear the dues. In between this period, no interest is to be paid by the cardholder. However, the grace period varies for different customers. For a salaried person it revolves around a month, in general, but what are the factors involved in deciding the grace period and how is it established?
Usually, SBI Credit Card and most of the card issuersoffer a grace period of minimum twenty-one days to the cardholders. This means your billing cycle has to cover a minimum of 21 days and the company must deliver your statement before 21 days of your due date of payment. The due date for the payment shall remain the same thereafter; the company does not hold the right to make any changes in it. On the due date as well, you can make the payment before the time stipulated in your agreement, to save your hard earned money from going away as Credit Card interest. If the due date falls on a weekend or a government holiday, the next working day will be counted as the due date. The maximum time offered by Credit Card companies as the grace period is 25 days.
Behind your Credit Card statement, there are certain things mentioned, to which you need to pay heed. It talks about how your finance charges are calculated, how you can find a copy of your Credit Card agreement on your card issuer’s website or via e-mail. However, nowhere it is mentioned that how this grace period is calculated. The agreement offered by the Credit Card companies does disclose the grace period that will be provided to you by them.
The Credit Card company is not bound to give you a grace period. There are conditions when no grace period is available for the cardholder. For instance, if your balance amount is being transferred for next month, again and again, you are no longer eligible for a grace period. Keep your interest as low as possible when using a card, since there is no point in reducing the grace period of your card. You may not have it eventually when there would be an actual need for the same. It is always recommended to start your billing cycle with zero balance, to avoid any incurring charges.
When you Apply for a New Credit Card Online, you can check a service agreement before you get yours, from a database of the accords that will help you understand the utility as well as precautions for using a card. As per a new regulation, declared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), three more days have been added to the grace period. On July 16, 2018, a circular was issued to companies to give more time to the customers for paying off their Credit Card bills. The top Credit Card companies have informed their clients about this revision in policies approved by RB. The governing body has not only thought of the consumer’s interest but for the company’s as well. The customer will now get some more time to clear the dues. While if the payment remains due even after ninety days of the due date, the credit card will be considered as a non-performing asset.
An additional three day grace period has been offered considering technical issues like the ill-functioning of the server or some other glitch. The forgetful users may also get some time to save themselves from the unwanted payment of interest. This step has been taken by RBI to establish a Credit Card discipline. The benefits or the adverse effects of the same would be known only after some time.
To avail the benefits of this grace period, it being a variable, the client needs to calculate it precisely. If you know, that you will have to travel to a specific location and you do know the date, then you can book the tickets on the very day or near to the time when your statement period closes. In this way, you will have an extended grace period for paying off the credit. Credit Cards are a game of intellect, manage your finance with great dexterity when using a card.
To apply online for Credit Cards, Secured Loans and Unsecured Loans, visit www.mymoneymantra.com, the leading online lending marketplace that offers financial products from 60+ Banks and NBFCs. We have served 2 million+ happy customers since 1989.
Talk to our Loan Specialists toll-free at 1800 103 4004 to know more about our products and offers.
7 Common Myths About Stock Markets
Investing in stock markets has proven to be a highly profitable option, although it still has its risks. There are millions of investors who have already made a profit in the markets and they continue to do so. At the same time, there are many who tend to stay away from stocks simply because they can be far too confusing or too difficult for them to understand. There is so much information out there that you may not be entirely sure what to do with your money.
Before you decide to enter the markets, you should familiarize yourself with some common myths so that you can make a better decision. In this article, we will take a look at 7 of these common misconceptions about stock markets.
1. Only the rich can invest in stock markets
This is one of the most common myths about stock markets. At some point in our lives, we must have heard people say that they don’t invest in the markets because they aren’t rich enough. However, this is not true. As long as you have money available, you can invest. There are plenty of online stock brokers which don’t require a minimum deposit and they are often accompanied by low brokerage fees. Furthermore, you also have many promising stocks which are not that expensive, to begin with. As long as you pick your stocks correctly, you can very well end up making decent returns on your investment.The best you can do is research and there some of the finance blogs like Learn Investing where you get tips and tricks on how to invest in stock market.
2. Market predictions can be trusted
Before you enter the exciting world of stock markets, you should know that they are constantly shifting. There are numerous factors at play here, all of which are linked so intricately a change in any one of them can cause a ripple effect in the markets. Furthermore, the performance of stock markets also depends on international conditions. It is next to impossible to predict with utmost certainty how a particular stock will behave.
3. What goes up comes down
Many people believe that a stock that goes up will come down, sooner or later. However, if a company is performing incredibly well, there is no reason why its stock should not increase in price. For example, the share price of MRF Limited, as of early July 2018, is close to Rs.75,000! The scrip has been on a bull run for the longest time and the reason for this lies in the company’s performance. That’s why, instead of believing in this myth, it’s better to carefully research and fundamentally analyse the company. Otherwise, you may end up losing an opportunity of a lifetime to benefit from an exceptional stock.
4. A stock that has fallen will rise again
This is the opposite of the last myth. One of the most common misconceptions that people have about the markets is that if a stock is trading close to its new 52-week low, it will rise again. If a company’s stock has fallen from Rs.600 to Rs.150, many people will invest in this company hoping that it will bounce back again. However, the company’s shares may be down because of a serious reason. Instead of blindly jumping on the bandwagon, research and understand why the company’s scrip has suffered and see whether it is worth investing.
5. Higher the risk, greater is the reward
You must have heard this phrase several times in different contexts, but if you invest in stock markets solely based on this philosophy, you will have a bad time. The thing with this myth is that you are only hearing one side of the story. What you are not hearing is the fact that it can lead to high losses too. For example, if you invest Rs.10,000 in a company which promises to be the ‘next big thing’ without doing your due diligence on the organisation, then there is a possible scenario where you will end up losing all your investment.
That’s why, it is better to take the low-risk path and invest in companies which are fundamentally sound. Investors like Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Warren Buffett have benefited greatly from this strategy.
6. You have to be a financial expert to invest in the markets
It is a well-known fact that stock markets are quite complex and their intricacies can be difficult to understand for a layman. However, at the end of the day, it is buying and selling of securities. There are many people who have made a fortune in the markets without having attended an elementary class in economics or finance. Trading in stocks does not require a lot of expertise. It doesn’t even need the help of a financial expert. It is a subtle art which you need to master over time.
Yes, granted that you are likely to make mistakes in the beginning but as you move along, you will find yourself navigating through the world of stock markets rather easily. There is plenty of information on the internet to help you get started with the markets. Similarly, the likes of Peter Lynch and Warren Buffett have written many books on the subject, which are well worth a read.
7. Investing in stocks is like gambling
Of all the myths that we have listed in this article, this one is without a doubt the most common stock market myth. Many people don’t like to invest in stocks because they believe that it is just like gambling. However, you should know that nothing can be further from the truth.
When you purchase a stock of a company, you are essentially purchasing an ownership share in that organisation. This means that as a shareholder, you are entitled to the assets and a fraction of the profits that the company makes, which are often referred to as dividends. One of the reasons why stock prices often vary is because investors are trying to determine how the company is performing. If the company goes on to perform well, it will be reflected in its stock price. That is why; it is possible to grow wealth by investing in companies which are fundamentally sound and are performing well. As the company grows, it will add value to the economy through its products and services.
Gambling, on the other hand, is a zero-sum game. No value is created here. It simply takes the money from the loser and hands it over to the winner. You can’t grow wealth here and for this reason, you should never confuse gambling with investing.You can find more detail about stock market here
If you steer clear of these common myths on your journey to become a successful investor, then your odds of earning a decent return on your investment will greatly improve. As we have said time and again, always research about the company you are planning to invest in, rather than blindly following the crowd. It will take some time and effort but in the end, it will be well worth it.
How Can You Expect to Be Financially Independent?
The unpredictability of life is as surreal as it is certain. One can never be prepared for things that are to happen in the future, especially when we are old and incapable of earning for ourselves. This is what makes it inevitably important to have a good retirement plan in place, so that we can rest assured we have something to fall back on, even after giving up our jobs and a regular source of income.
Importance of Retirement Planning
Gone are the days when one had to slog for his entire life, till s/he turned 60. Today, with retirement planning, one can relish the taste of early retirement, if appropriately done from the beginning.
Retirement planning entails the systematic accumulation of a set amount of money for a specific future date. The idea is to save an amount that shall be sufficient to sustain you and your dependent partner. Besides this, these funds should be enough to meet your medical requirements as well as your travel expenditure over a period of time. Only then can you enjoy what they called the ‘retired life’.
There is no denying the fact that almost everything costs money and it is only wise to prepare for the times to come if you don’t intend to end up in old age homes paid for by your children. Financial independence after you have reached a certain age in life and decided to give up work or good is important, otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy the rest of your time.
However, most of us fail to do so because for the greater part of our lives we are stuck in a rat-race of hand to mouth existence ad never have spare money we could imagine saving.
Ideally one should start retirement planning with their first ever salary check. This is going to keep things in perspective from very early on, and you will know what to expect from your life in the time to come.
Parents should inculcate these ideas in young minds so that they as well as their children can have secured retired lives.
It is essential that we consider all factors and start paying attention towards retirement planning today because putting retirement off is only going to make it more and more difficult in the future.
You will not be able to save sufficient funds to support your dreams and goals. You may want to lead a comfortable life with your pets or may want to travel the world, all of which is going to be possible because you have preplanned your retirement intelligently.
How to Go About Efficient Retirement Planning?
- Evaluate your income and expenditure as well as your retirement goals
- Know how much you need to fulfil those goals as well as live a financially independent life, in short, know your retirement corpus
- When long-term planning is concerned, especially for your golden years, you can opt to invest in equities. SIP in equity mutual funds suits the puzzle here. SIP mode inculcates an investing discipline in you, which equally contributes to the compounding effect, helping your returns to grow. Go for retirement plans that are best suited as per your needs. Being invested in a retirement plan can help you retire as early as possible, maybe in your 40’s or 50’s
- Lastly, making retirement planning as much of a priority in your life as anything else, making conscious efforts towards securing your future
Why Do You Need Retirement Planning Now More Than Ever?
Inflation: We are amazed when our parents tell us how a bar of chocolate used to cost a fraction of what it costs today. So, imagine what it is going to cost when we become grandparents. Inflation has made it even more important for one to become financially secure and prepared for the times to come.
Around 6.5 percent long-term inflation sustains in the country, and if predictions are to be believed, it is only going to get worse from here on. This makes retirement planning one of our key responsibilities towards ourselves so that we don’t end up becoming a burden for anyone in our twilight years.
Life Expectancy Rise: Life expectancy of an average individual has increased over the past decades, and this too raises the need for retirement planning. One cannot rely on provident funds or fixed deposits that they make. It is essential that you save money step by step and in a streamlined, strategic manner so that you can live a comfortable life in your older years.
Current Family Scenario: The way modern families and relationships are shaping; nuclear families are on the rise. This makes it all the more imperative for a person to be retirement ready so that in the years to come you are prepared enough to deal with any sort of situations.
Rectify These Retirement Planning Mistakes Today!
- Saving without proper plans and goals in mind
- Making savings only through fixed deposits or PPFs
- Drawing from your retirement funds because of immediate need of money
Putting it off for a better time, focusing on current responsibilities
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