If you tend to carry a credit card balance rather than pay off your balance every month, then you’ve seen a finance charge added to your balance. Finance charges are applied to credit card balances that aren’t paid before the grace period. Unlike most other credit card fees, finance charges aren’t a flat fee. Instead, the finance charge is calculated for each billing cycle based on your balance and interest rate. Generally, higher balances and interest rates result in higher finance charges.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid finance charges on all types of balances. Balance transfers and cash advances don’t have a grace period, so finance charges start accruing as soon as the balance hits your card. When it comes to these types of balances, the best way to avoid a finance charge is to stay away from those transactions completely. The exception is when your credit card has a zero percent interest rate promotion, but these rarely apply to cash advances.
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Couples and Money: A Couples’ Guide, Updated for the New Millennium. As a psychologist and a Certified Financial Planner, Dr. Victoria Collins brings a unique perspective to personal finance solutions for couples, married or unmarried, who are in dispute about financial issues. The book includes practical advice, worksheets, and true stories that will help couples achieve financial harmony and work toward common financial goals.
Mint, Intuit’s personal finances apps, is one of the most well-known personal finance apps that provides your complete financial picture in one place. Once you link your credit and debit cards to your account, Mint pulls your transactions, categorizes them and shows how you’re spending your money. You can keep track of your bills and spending and create a budget you can stick to. Free access to your credit score is one of the more recent additions. You can get a breakdown of the factors contributing to your credit score to stay on top of your credit health. Plus, you can track your investments and schedule utility payments. For bills that you manually pay, the app can send e-mail reminders or add the due dates to your phone calendar. You can use the app exclusively or access your account via computer.
A man stresses about finances. The adjusted balance method starts with the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle and subtracts any payments you made during the billing cycle. Purchases are not included in the balance. Out of all the ways to calculate finance charges, this method results in the lowest finance charge, but not very many credit card issuers use it. The average daily balance method uses the average of your balance during the billing cycle. Each day’s balance is added together and divided by the number of days in the billing cycle. New charges are sometimes excluded in the calculation of the average daily balance. This is the most common way finance charges are calculated.