Deferred interest promotional offers are often promoted similar to zero percent balance transfers, but they’re a little different. A deferred interest offer will backdate interest on your balance – assess the full finance charge from the start of the promotional period – if you don’t pay the balance by the time the promotional period ends. Always read the terms of your promotional offers to know whether you need to pay off the full balance before the end of the promotional period to avoid paying finance charges on the balance. You don’t want to be caught off guard with several months of finance charges added to your balance.
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.
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The interface is clean, but perhaps a little too clean. There are no icon buttons for frequently used features. All commands are done from the File, Edit, or another menu. But the online documentation is understandable, so this is definitely worth a try if you want personal finance software with bare-bones features. It’s released as Open Source Software, designed specifically for use with Linux. AceMoney for Linux offers a variety of personal finance reports plus budgeting, investment tracking, and e-commerce features. It imports account transactions from most financial institutions using QIF or OFX downloads, and it supports over 150 currencies. It automatically downloads exchange rates via the internet.
Credit cards give you the ability to make purchases today and pay for them later. If it takes you longer than a month to pay off your balance you’ll pay a fee in the form of a finance charge. Paying finance charges increases the cost you pay for having a credit card, even moreso if you never fully pay off your balance. You can avoid finance charges on almost all credit cards, but it’s all about the timing and amount of your credit card payment.
If, for some reason, your minimum payment is less than your finance charge, paying the minimum will result in a bigger, not smaller, balance. Can You Lower Your Finance Charge Amount? Since your finance charge is based on your interest rate and credit card balance, you’ll pay higher finance charges when these amounts are high. You can reduce the amount of interest you pay by paying off your balance faster, requesting a lower interest rate, or by moving your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. You can also avoid finance charges altogether by paying your entire balance before the grace period ends. If you pay your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid finance charges completely.