Credit card interest rates are creeping up


(Photo: Unsplash, Jungwoo Hong)

I love technology – I use to make my life easier, and it allows me to work from home.  Just like any tool, though, technology has its downsides.  Since I have automated all my finances and moved them all online, I don’t scrutinize every single bill and notification as carefully as I did when they were on paper.  Even worse than not double checking my bills is that I don’t read all the notices.

Which is why I was so surprised to discover that the interest rate on one of my credit cards has snuck up over 2 points in the last few years.  We rarely carry a balance, but I was considering it as an option to avoid cashing out a CD and so I checked the interest rates on the three credit cards that I carry.  Every single one of them was higher than it was a few years ago, with two of them now topping 10%.  And these are the “you’re a really good customer who always pays their bills on-time and has a good credit score” rates, which are lower than other rates.

According to CreditCards.com, “The average APR for new card offers is currently at a record high.”  More interestingly to me, “Over the past year, average rates have increased at the fastest rate since 2010.”

If you ever carry a balance on a credit card, it is important that you understand the terms of the borrowing.  If you don’t read every single notice from your credit card issuer, it’s likely that your interest rate is higher than you remember.  Having accurate information is vital to making smart financial decisions.

In my situation, checking on that interest rate made it a lot easier to figure out what to do in that particular situation.  Check your credit cards and see where your interest rates are now.  Up-to-date knowledge may impact the choices you make!

By Kate Horrell, Military.com

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