A lot of people have had a difficult time getting new credit over the last six years or so, to the point where major house repairs had to be delayed and vacations had to wait for another year. But it looks like the noose is loosening, if only a little.
A recent Erie Times article says that it’s in the mail. “It” is a credit card solicitation, or multiple ones. Though this has happened before, the current round of solicitations are a little different in two ways:
First, if you received a credit card solicitation, you could almost bank on the fact that if you signed along the dotted lines, you were sent your card faster than a Nolan Ryan fastball. That isn’t quite the case now. The companies are still looking for users who already have decent credit, so just because you receive an offer in the mail doesn’t mean it translates to an automatic new card.
Second, the credit offers are juicier. No interest until next year? Done. Free airfare anywhere in the US? Done. Free tickets to see the Pirates in the World Series? Well, not yet.
So what are you to do if you get an offer? It depends. (Don’t you hate that word? We all want the answers to be SO easy!) If you are generally satisfied with your credit cards and credit lines, you may feel no need to switch, but you still might want to look at the terms of the new card. If you can save a few percentage points with a lower interest rate, this might be for you.
If you have trouble managing the cards you have and wish to consolidate onto one card, this might also work. But make certain that you understand the upfront and other costs before doing so.
If you feel you need some extra credit for emergencies, maybe you can consider the offer. But if you need that extra credit because your cards are maxed out, forget it. Pay down those other cards first, and you can get your emergency credit there as your balances decrease.
We recommend that you only charge as much on credit cards as you will be able to pay off at the end of the month, unless it is an absolute emergency like a car repair or home repair.
And if you are looking at a new card so you can use it for tickets to see the Pirates in the World Series, well…let’s all hope the Bucs get to the point where we can continue to discuss the pros and cons of this new card.
Need to know if you are choosing your credit cards wisely? Call Steidl and Steinberg at 800-360-9392.