Tis’ the season for holiday shopping, but before you say charge it make sure you know what you agreed to when you applied for your credit card.
Wichitan Jason Schills got quite a shock when his credit card interest rates jumped from around 20% to almost 30%. It's something that happens more often than you think. Just read the fine print of your credit card application and you'll find companies can raise the rates for any number of reason. And because you signed your name to the application, they have your permission to do it.
Credit counselors say if you miss just one payment, make a late payment or even have a bad history with other card companies, your APR will climb.
Counselors say you need to keep your dept to income ratio low and keep balance less than half the credit limit.
It seems most companies raise your rates around the holidays. It's not because they think you'll use your card more; instead this is the time many people max out their cards or even go above their limit.
If you need debt help in the Wichita area, call the Consumer Credit Counseling Service at 265-2000.