Tag Archive | “Fine Print of agreement”

Costs and Fees: When is a ‘Fixed’ Rate not Fixed?

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Question: My “fixed-rate”credit card company has offered me a balance transfer giving a fixed rate of 5.9% for the life of the loan, this rate is fixed as long as I am not late on any payments. No other details are given on the balance transfer, it is clearly stated in the fine print on the agreement that they have the right to change the terms of the credit card anytime when they want and for that they just give the cardholders only 15 days’ notice. The new terms can be refused by me but in that case my account shall be closed by them.


My question is that, Is this fixed-rate balance transfer any more fixed than the “fixed” rate on the credit card itself? It has been explicitly mentioned there in black and white that it is fixed for the life of the loan.

If in case they change the terms of the credit card on me and I refuse, then would I be able to pay off the balance (purchases, cash advances balance transfers or special balance transfers like above) under the old terms, or, would they be able to make me pay it all off immediately?

Answer: I must say first that you have asked some questions that are of great importance and you are smart enough that you have read the credit card agreement before deciding that whether to transfer your balances to a new credit card or not.

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Match Your Card and Lifestyle: You must Read the Fine Print

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This often happens that credit card holders get surprised when they get socked with some fees that they have never expected, or it mostly happens when first statement comes than the card holders find that their interest rate isn’t what they have expected.

Late fees. Overdraft charges. Unannounced increases in rates and it seems that there is no cause behind that increase. Old debts mysteriously emerging on new credit cards.


Whether you like it or not, these surprises that you get from credit card companies are usually completely legal as the card issuer in advance have warned that they had the right to do so.

So here the question that arises for card holders is, how can I avoid all this and protect myself from unexpected charges, rate increases and the like?

The answer to this question is the same that you’ve undoubtedly heard before — read the fine print!

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September 2011
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