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To answer your question directly, many Sunday Newspapers have a list of the best interest rates listed in their Money or Finance Sections. This will list the best credit card rates, Mortgage Interest Rate and Car Loan Interest rates for the week and is a good place to start. If you’ve never had a credit card, you may have to take whatever you can get, but be careful. I get the impression you are trying to establish credit so I’m going to respond with answers in that direction.

First, pull your 3 credit files and see what’s on them. You can view and print them online free at www.annualcreditreport.com once a year. Your credit scores are not free, but they are worth having on hand. Second, if you have an established account at a bank or credit union, ask them if they think you would qualify based on your current status (Show them all 3 reports/scores). If they think you will qualify, fill out the app and skip to #1. If not, continue, but don’t get mad at the bank and close your account because you’ll be back in about a year. Second, do not apply for every card under the sun, this will only add “Inquiries” to your credit file which impacts your score. Call banks and ask questions. Tell them you are trying to establish credit. Third, depending on your existing credit, you may have to take a card with a high interest rate so follow these hard and fast rules. #1. Charge only what you can afford and pay off monthly. #2. Pay the card off monthly. #3. Do not pay late under any circumstance, no excuses. Now read all three of those again. Do not make excuses. Do not say, well I can split it up and pay it off next month. It won’t happen. If your purpose is to build credit, you will have to work for it. If you’re looking things to happen quickly, you are setting yourself up for failure. I’d rather sound harsh now, than direct you to a legitimate credit counseling service or tell you how to deal with a bill collector in a year.

After 3-6 months you may see an increase to your credit limit. After a year, ask for an interest rate reduction. If they refuse, apply for a lower rate card back at your bank or credit union, but do NOT close that original account. Keep it paid off, but do NOT close the account. That original card or account is the start of your “credit history.” Credit History represents 15% of your credit score and closing it wipes it off your credit map. I would be like starting over. Now, pull your credit histories and scores again, go back to your bank or credit union and ask again. If they say no, get the sunday paper list and pursue a card with one of those lenders. Hope this helps. 

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