Credit Wise FAQs

Question If my card offers a grace period, does that mean my purchases are interest-free, even when I carry a balance from month-to-month?
Answer No. If you carry a balance, the issuer will charge interest from the date of posting or purchase (depending on issuer policy) on all new purchases. Generally, your purchases are interest-free only when you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Your card offers a grace period.
  2. You start the billing cycle with a zero balance.
  3. You pay all new purchases in full by the due date.

(Note: Most cards do not offer a grace period on cash advances.)
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Question Since most credit card issuers use some form of the average daily balance method for calculating interest, will I save more money (when carrying a balance from month to month) if I send in my payment early, rather than waiting until the due date?
Answer Yes. Because the interest "clock" is ticking daily, the sooner the lender posts your payment, the less interest you have to pay.
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Question How can I prevent someone using my personal information to apply for credit in my name?
Answer When someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain, it's called identity theft.

Steps you can take to reduce the risk of your identity being stolen include:

  • Rip up, or better yet, shred, any credit card applications, bank or billing statements, and any other sensitive documents.
  • If you don't get a bill for one of your credit cards in any given month, call the issuer immediately. Don't just assume you're off the hook that month.
  • Use a lockable mailbox if possible for incoming and outgoing mail (especially bills).

Learn More About Identity Theft

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