Resources/ FAQ

 

 

Words You Should Know

Annual Fee

This is a fee charged by the card issuer to maintain the account. This fee is most times charged yearly, on the anniversary of the issue date of the card.


Available balance

The amount you have available to spend. Usually, the difference between your limit and the total outstanding balance.


Credit Scoring

This is the way financial institutions assess whether you will be able to afford to pay your bills. They may either use your score from a reputable credit score agency or they make score your application whereby points are assigned for designated responses. Your credit score can determine if your application is approved, your limit and also the interest rate you are charged.


Cardholder Agreement

You will be given a copy of this agreement when you first get your card. It outlines your responsibilities and the issuer’s obligations to you, including where/how the card may be used, how to pay, conditions under which the card may be blocked, etc. Pay attention to the fine print so you are aware of what is expected of you.


Due Date

This is when your statement balance is due or the final day to make payments towards a due balance. This is usually approximately 30 days from the statement date.


Delinquency

When you miss your minimum payment and are late, usually, by over 45 days. This is not a good thing. Delinquency leads to late fees, additional interest, doubling up of minimum amount in next billing cycle, plus it puts you on the road to bad debt, higher interest rates, bad credit, etc.


Cash Advance

You may get cash from your card from an ATM machine if your card is pinned or from a Bank or merchant that is authorized to give cash from credit cards. Your cash limit is usually a portion of your total credit limit. Interest charges usually apply to cash transactions, whether you pay on time or not. Cash advances also most times attract a cash advance fee.


Credit History

This is a record of your financial activities over a period of time. It may include your history of payments, borrowing history, frequency of lateness, etc. This will impact your credit score.


Credit Limit

The credit limit is the maximum amount that you can spend on your card. This may include the limit for purchases as well as the limit for cash advances.


Fixed interest rate

If you have a fixed interest rate then it means that the APR remains the same for the life of the card. Please note, however, that issuers usually include a clause in the agreement that they can change the rate as long as they give you notice.


Interest Rate or Annual Joining Fee

This is an account fee that is charged when the card is first issued. It can be the same as the annual fee, so in the first year the joining fee is charged and an annual fee is charged annually after joining.


Late Fee

If at least the minimum amount isn’t paid by the due date each month, a flat rate late fee is charged in addition to the interest rate.


Overlimit Fee

Your assigned credit limit is the maximum you are allowed to spend. The over limit fee is charged if you go over your limit, whether by transactions you do, or if the limit is exceeded when interest charges or fees are applied.


 

Percentage Rate (APR)                 This is the annual interest rate that is used to add interest charges to your statement balance if it is not paid in full by the due date each month.


 

Minimum Balance           This is the lowest or minimum amount you can pay in any statement cycle and still be considered to be a good customer. This amount must be paid by the due date.


Statement                          Notice detailing your transactions, payments and other fees that

Notice detailing your transactions, payments and other fees that is prepared and provided to you monthly, by your bank.


Statement Balance

Amount to be paid by Statement date. This amount is cut off at the statement date.


Statement Date

The date when your statement is prepared each month. Transactions done up to this date are included on statements due for payment at next due date. Transactions done after this date are put on the next statement.


Total Outstanding Amount

This is the total amount you have used on your card to date including fees and interest that have been charged. This includes recent transactions that are not yet on your statement.


Variable Interest Rate

It is becoming common to offer a lower interest rate at signing to attract new customers. This rate is usually valid for a few months and then a higher rate becomes applicable once the advertised period ends.


Sample Expenses List

Tip-Make sure you include all expenses to get a good idea of what you actually spend each month.

Use as a guide to creating your own monthly expense list.

Click here for printable Expenses List

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