Keeping their debt levels in check, particularly when it comes to credit cards, has been a focus for Americans nationwide in recent years. Many credit card issuers have evidently noticed this trend, as they are offering no-interest cards at an increasing rate.
According to a report by MarketWatch columnist Jennifer Waters, with nearly half of all major credit card issuers throughout the U.S. offering no-interest credit cards, the latter half of the year appears to be an opportune period for many consumers to jump on offers.
In addition to the considerable number of credit card companies offering zero interest, Waters noted many are also offering no fees for the first year of having the cards, as well as extended teaser rates.
“It’s a buyer’s market for credit-card consumers now,” credit card analyst Ken Lin told Waters. He added that many banks and card companies are gearing a number of their cards toward the high-credit-score demographic, who are the consumers who can mostly qualify for no-interest cards.
According to Lin, many consumers who have recently improved their credit standings may find the zero-interest cards appealing.
However, consumer card evaluation expert Ben Woolsey indicated to Waters that numerous consumers think they are keeping their credit scores high or are doing well to raise them by not defaulting.
“It’s a big mistake for people to assume that they have great credit quality because they have never defaulted,” he said.
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One thing consumers should keep in mind when looking to secure a no-interest rate credit card, according to Waters, is that if their credit score falls during the introductory period, chances are they will be hit with interest charges that could end up being substantial. Some of these interest rates can end up between 10 and 25 percent, she notes.
This makes keeping one’s credit standing at a quality level imperative. By doing so, consumers can keep open the doors for other potential lines of credit and maintain their fiscal reputation.
Image: andymangold, via Flickr