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What is a late fee?

If you've mishandled your credit card bills, you've probably been hit with a sizable fee for missing your payment deadline.The reason a late fee can be such a big problem is that it adds money to the amount you owe, on what might


What is a credit limit?

If you have a credit card, you have a credit limit. As you might expect by the name, that limit is the total amount you can spend on a card without "maxing it out."But what you might not know about that limit is that getting anywhere


What is a loan principal?

When you take out a loan, or use a credit card, you have to be aware of two amounts of money: The principal, and the interest. Knowing which is which, and what they mean, is crucial.The loan principal, or the principal balance, is the amount


What is credit history?

One of the things you might hear about a lot when you try to apply for a credit card or loan is how your "credit history" will affect your eligibility. But you might not know what that means.In short, credit history basically means


What is an overdraft?

If you struggle to pay all your bills on time every month, you might occasionally find that you're being hit with an overdraft fee from your bank, but you might not know what it is.Basically, it means you tried to take money out of your


What is an alternative credit score?

In the last few years a major emphasis in financial circles has been placed on a person's credit score, but some experts say that this data might not go far enough.That's where "alternative" credit scores - including those


What is a credit score?

You probably hear a lot about your credit score, but do you know what it is and what goes into it?That score is a three-digit number that lenders use to determine how risky of an investment a person is. The lower the score, the greater the


What is a minimum payment?

When you get your credit card bills every month, you'll notice that there's a required minimum payment you must submit A lot of people who are strapped for cash will often send in only that much, but doing so isn't a good idea.A


What is compound interest?

People who have even a passing knowledge of the way their finances work generally know what interest is, but one aspect of this they may hear often is "compound interest."Interest - like with a savings account - is simply the amount


What is APR?

You may see commercials all the time for credit cards that carry low APR, and wonder what that means.For one thing, you need to keep in mind that an APR - which stands for "annual percentage rate" - isn't always the same as an


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