Thursday, August 7, 2008

Discussion on Credit Cards

Well, credit cards have become the bane of the American economy or so, is the popular perception. The American debt is phenomenal. But when credit cards were first introduced and in nascent markets, this isn't really the case.

In traditional societies such as India, which are no longer so traditional any longer, or in other traditional societies, credit was originally something on which one looked down. It was a kind of social stigma in the Indian society even as late as thirty years ago, and even today, in the Indian rural landscape to borrow money. At the center were the local moneylenders. But credit isn't always a bad thing if it is managed well. I found out about a very interesting website Compare Cards that actually compares credit cards issued by various companies. It is an American website and is quite informative. They are not into selling cards of any bank or whatever. They have an interesting glossary of terms that are used while using credit cards. This glossary can be found here. Its a credit card guide, which includes a number of terms including APR. Any idea what it means? Nope. APR is the Annual Percentage Rate. So, the cards do not charge you a monthly rate because the monthly rate is simply compounded every month, so, what you are left with is actually the annual percentage rate. Credit cards are bound by law to declare their APR in most countries and certainly, in well regulated ones.

Do you know that there are a number of well known credit card brands? I know of four major issuers, not the banks, but the issuers. The ones that I know of are: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. The company that owns Discover is Morgan Stanley. I had always thought of them as a financial services company that had mutual funds and some other schemes. I had heard of the Discover brand in credit cards but I never knew that they were a Morgan Stanley business unit.

This website Compare Cards is actually quite interesting. I had never thought of any bank that would offer credit cards for people with bad credit history. But they even have a page that lists a number of cards for people with troubled credit histories. This is the page on their website.

For translators who are interested in making out financial glossaries or bilingual financial glossaries, these links would of great help.

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