When You Don’t Have A Credit Card Grace Period

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Credit card issuers generally offer a grace period that allows you time to pay your bill without incurring interest charges on your purchases. The grace period usually lasts two or three weeks from the end of the billing cycle, and will be incorporated into the due date on your bill. Pay your bill in full by the due date and there will be no interest charges on any of your purchases. Carry a balance over to the next billing cycle, and you will be charged interest on the remaining balance.

However, the grace period usually does not apply to cash advances. Without a grace period, interest starts accruing from the date that a transaction is posted. To avoid unexpected interest charges, you must check the terms and conditions of your credit card and adjust your payment strategy accordingly.

Credit card companies love cash advances because they generate significant income. Payment indust…

Get Your Money As Soon As You Earn It

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You’re in a cash-flow crunch again. An important bill is due, and you’ve earned the money to pay that bill – but it’s not payday yet. You’re on a two-week pay cycle and have to wait for another week or so before your money is available.

What are your options? Ask a friend or relative to loan you money for a few weeks. Take out a payday loan and pay painful interest rates. Make the payment late and run the risk of penalty fees and a drop in your credit score. Ask your employer for a payday advance. All these options can be embarrassing and unpleasant.

Many Americans take the payday loan approach – approximately twelve million each year, according to 2016 research from the Pew Charitable Trusts – paying a collective $9 billion in fees and interest charges.

Payday access apps like Earnin are designed to fill this cash-flow gap. As opposed to a payday advance …

Refund Advance Loans And Refund Anticipation Checks 101

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Are you counting on your tax refund to pay off bills? You may need the cash before your refund arrives.

The IRS website states that typical refunds take less than 21 calendar days if you e-filed your return. However, if you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) your refund may be delayed further.

Tax preparers may offer a solution in the form of refund advance loans (RALs) and refund anticipation checks (RACs). What’s the difference between the two, and is either one right for you?

Refund advance loans are just what they sound like – a loan issued by a lender for the amount of your anticipated tax refund. You are loaned the money up front and your refund is used against the loan balance.

Predatory, older-style RALs were basically eliminated by rule changes in 2010 and 2012 due to high interest rates and other charge…

Interest Rate Acronyms

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APR and APY – are they new texting acronyms? IDK, you say – or rather, you text? (For the benefit of the textually-challenged, IDK means “I don’t know.”) If you think they are texting acronyms, or just “DK” what they are, it’s time to learn.

APR and APY are financial acronyms, short for Annual Percentage Rate and Annual Percentage Yield, respectively. Both are interest rates, but they have a significant difference. APR does not address how interest is compounded – the default is the interest that you earn if you are depositing money, or pay if you are borrowing it – in one year. APY takes into account how often the interest is compounded.

If interest is compounded once per year, there is no difference between APR and APY – interest is added all at one time. However, let’s assume an interest rate is compounded monthly. In that case, the interest payment is divided up into twelve equal increments.

If you are earning interest on a deposit, that adds a sma…