What types of credit cards exist?
There are two well known credit cards, Visa and MasterCard; however, do not forget about Discover and American Express. According to Nerd Wallet, it is important to understand that Visa nor MasterCard issue credit cards; rather, they both serve as a network between the bank and the consumer. Your bank (Bank of America, Chase, Citi, US Bank) is in charge of things like cash back programs and airline miles. But the networks (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.) add perks like fraud protection, car rental insurance, travel insurance, purchase protection and more. When choosing a network, you need to determine which offers the most generous and relevant perks. Visa and MasterCard are pretty similar, but Visa is known to have a better coverage on lost cards.
- Department stores carry their own credit cards, but they are limited to that store. Within time, that department store’s credit card can grow into a Visa or MasterCard, which could be utilized outside of the department store boundaries.
- Gas cards work the same way as department store’s credit cards.
What is credit history, credit report, and credit score?
- Credit history is a record of how much you owe, how much you have borrowed, and whether you have paid your debt on time. Essentially, credit lenders are rating your credit worthiness.
- Credit reports also include all of your credit history, but they also reflect other important factors. Your credit report is utilized as a reference when you rent or lease an apartment, but employers and other government agencies can and will used as a determining factor to accept or deny your employment or lease.
- Credit score is more commonly known as the FICO Score. The FICO Score is the standard credit score in the US. Your FICO Score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your FICO Score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score. Your FICO Score is broken down into 35% payment history, 30% amounts owed, 15% on length of credit history, 10% on new credit, and 10% on other types of credit.