4 Ways to Get First Credit Card in USA

Credit is very important in the USA. And even at the time of economic crisis, the entire American economy revolves around credit. That’s why it is very important for young people and new immigrants to find ways to establish a good credit history so that foundation for future financial goals can be built. Whether it’s buying a home or a car, financing a college education, paying bills, or meeting emergency obligations; at some point of time, you will need credit score.

How to start building a credit history

Amongst various options to build a credit history, the best option is owning a credit card. However if you don’t have a credit history you won’t get a credit card and without a credit card you won’t be able to start your credit history. But don’t despair, there’s a solution for everything.

So here’s the strategy to own your first “plastic money”.

Option-1: Cards from Department or Gas Stations

Gas stations and department stores are a good place to start. They issue cards more easily and without asking for much requirements and reports. You will be asked to show regular income and few others. You can only use them to shop at their stores and branches for limited amounts and in return they will help you build credit history.

However, there are some very important caveats you should be aware of:

  1. Track all your expenses and try to reduce expenses as much as possible. It’s understood that free money is always enticing and forces users to spend more.
  2. Pay on time, better if you can do it before the deadline and fully.
  3. Don’t use all your monthly credit. It is advisable to not exceed 50% of credit in any given month.
  4. Stay away from paying minimum balance. And if you do so, pay more than this balance.
  5. Make sure these stores report your transaction history to the credit bureaus.
  6. Avoid taking supplementary card against your primary card initially, as default/over crossing of credit limit on this add-on card will negatively affect your credit score.

After a short time, you will become accustomed to the responsible use of your credit card. Above all, you will learn not to be tempted to abuse it. It is very important that you maintain control over your expenses and keep a good record of them. You must be disciplined and know how to say no to some purchases if you can’t afford to pay them in the future.

Always remember to spend what you can afford to pay later, as any slip-ups you make will be recorded on your credit report. And this will accompany you all your financial life.

Option-2: Secured Credit Card

Now let’s take the big step. It is recommended that you go to a bank, perhaps the one where you have your savings account or checking account. And if you don’t have an account with one, look for the one that best suits your needs.

There are many banks in USA but you should look for one that has many branches and provide personalized services. This is helpful because it can sometimes be difficult and complicated to understand certain financial terminologies, if you’re from different country.

Once you have chosen a bank, you can apply for a secured credit card.

What is a secured credit card?

The secured or guaranteed credit card is a card that is backed by money that you must deposit as security for the payment you make using the card. This deposit will be frozen and cannot be withdrawn until you repay for all the purchases you have made with the card.

Check out: Bank of America Secured Card.

Suppose you apply for a secured or guaranteed credit card for US$ 2,000, then you must deposit US$ 2,000 as security. That is: the same amount you apply for as credit on your card, you must guarantee it with an equal or higher deposit. And after paying some fees, you will be able to access cards from other banks with an increased credit limit.

Once you’re done paying your bills, you can cancel this card and apply for a traditional credit card.

Option-3: Traditional Credit Card

The bank from which you apply for your card will perform a repayment ability analysis and request credit reports from bureaus. If you’ve been paying well with your previous cards, if you’ve paid your installments on secured or guaranteed cards, you’ll have no trouble getting your first traditional credit card.

Option-4: Supplementary Card

It would be great to have a friend or family member who can apply for add-on card (also called supplementary card) on your name. But make sure to be a honest borrower i.e. you never default, always make full payments on time, never over spend beyond the assigned credit limit. This is because, credit score of both primary and secondary card owner (i.e. you) gets negatively affected. Moreover on certain cards in USA, a good credit history of the primary card owner benefits the secondary card owner as well.

Remember that when used responsibly, credit cards will help you achieve your personal financial goals and ensure a smooth financial future in the United States. On the other hand, a bad use of credit card will lead to difficult to pay debts and bad credit report will restrict your access to credit in the future or getting access to the credit will become painful. The credit card is a loaded weapon, always use it wisely.

Instant Credit Card with No Income from ICICI Bank

The never ending need of money can either be fulfilled through own savings or applying for personal loan or credit card at financial institutions. However for a low income earner, getting personal loan and credit card is very difficult. And adding to the pain, is no credit score which is a important eligibility criteria. And especially when you are in the need of urgent money, the situation becomes very difficult.

To overcome this problem, ICICI Bank offers Instant Platinum Credit Card.

Here are the features

Main objective: The main objective behind instant credit card is to help build or repair credit score.

Secured card: It is actually a card against fixed deposit. Meaning, applicant should keep minimum Rs. 20,000 in FD account and against this deposit, ICICI bank will offer credit card.

No credit history check: Bank will not check credit score of the applicant. This is very important, because when someone applies for credit card in a traditional way, card issuer will do a thorough background check of the applicant’s past credit history by contacting credit agencies such as CIBIL and generate credit score. So a person with poor credit score can also apply for this card and improve his/her credit score.

Free: This card is completely free i.e. there is a zero joining and annual fee.

No income criteria: There is no need for the applicant to be a working professional or self-employed. Meaning, bank will not ask for the monthly or annual income. So even students, housewives, retired person can get instant credit card.

Free add-on card: Card users with good usage and re-payment history can also apply for supplementary card for no additional fee. This card can be applied for family members such as wife, children, and parents.

High interest rate: The interest rate on the card is very high 29.88% annualized. So make sure to make all the repayment on time and fully.

Minimum documentation: Since the card is issued against fixed deposit the documents required are very less, as the bank already has most of the documents with them required at the time of opening the FD account. There are no income documents such as salary slip or IT returns required.

Secured: It is a PIN based card, which adds additional layer of security.

Benefits:

  • Earn 2 payback points on spending Rs. 100
  • Earn 1 payback point on every Rs. 100 spent on utilities and insurance categories
  • ₹ 100 off on movie tickets booked via bookmyshow on any day of the week
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver
  • 15% savings at restaurants

Other conditions to get card:

  • FD should be in the name of the applicant.
  • Applicant should not be NRI, minors, and foreign national.
  • FD tenure should be 180 days

How to apply for Instant Credit Card?

There are two ways to get this card:

  1. Visit ICICI bank branch and get the card over the counter.
  2. Apply online and get card delivered to your registered address.

2018: Credit Card for Low Salary in UAE (AED 5,000-36,750) Required

Like other countries in the world, United Arab Emirates is one of the leading country with high usage of credit card although the country is not completely cashless and cash is still the primary payment method and then the credit card. This is the reason many of the banks (local and international) offer range of credit cards in UAE for various purpose such as:

  • Shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Entertainment and others

However getting a credit card is not easy as lenders have a risk of default. This is the reason, every bank has different eligibility criteria before approving a card and most important being the income based on which repayment capacity of the applicant is judged. Typically banks do not consider salary which includes variable income e.g. bonus, commissions, rental income, overtime etc.

Here’s the table showing minimum income required by leading banks in UAE:

Sr. NoCredit Card NameCard Issuing BankMinimum Monthly Income
1Citi Simplicity Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 5,000
2HSBC Visa Platinum Cashback Credit CardHSBC Bank Middle East LimitedAED 5,000
3HSBC Visa Platinum Select Credit CardHSBC Bank Middle East LimitedAED 5,000
4Platinum Credit CardStandard Chartered BankAED 5,000
5Manhattan PlatinumStandard Chartered BankAED 5,000
6Saadiq PlatinumStandard Chartered BankAED 5,000
7Cashback Visa Platinum Card Abu Dhabi Islamic BankAED 5,000
8Titanium Card for UAE Nationals First Gulf BankAED 5,000
9Classic credit card National Bank of FujairahAED 5,000
10Citi Cashback Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
11Citi Rewards Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
12Emirates-Citibank GoldCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
13Citi PremierMiles TitaniumCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
14Citi Life Mastercard PlatinumCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
15Citi Life Visa PlatinumCitibank N.A.AED 8,000
16Citi PremierMiles SignatureCitibank N.A.AED 10,000
17Emirates-Citibank World Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 12,000
18Citi Premier Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 15,000
19Emirates-Citibank Ultimate Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 18,000
20Citi Life Infinite VisaCitibank N.A.AED 18,000
21PlatinumCitibank N.A.AED 30,000
22Citi Prestige® Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 30,000
23Citi PremierMiles EliteCitibank N.A.AED 30,000
24Visa Infinite Credit CardStandard Chartered BankAED 30,000
25Emirates-Citibank Ultima Credit CardCitibank N.A.AED 36,750

There are many other banks offering credit cards to low income earners in UAE but their minimum income criteria could not be found. And the same shall be updated in the table above.

Most of these banks have offices in the capital city of Abu Dhabi and also in Dubai.

Note that, apart from minimum monthly income, credit card issuing banks also check the credit score of each applicant which is nothing but the score assigned to each and every borrower in UAE. So whenever any application is made, banks approach Al Etihad Credit Bureau to get credit report of the applicant. This report includes financial transaction history of the applicant which mainly consists of:

  • All the past and present credit applied and granted
  • Repayment history for all the credits taken
  • Payment defaults

How to Apply for Credit Card in UAE

You can apply for credit by applying online or personally visiting the bank. You will have to fill application form requiring following details:

  • Full name as per passport
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Mobile number
  • Date of birth
  • Basic monthly salary
  • Personal information
  • Employment details: Company name, address, ID, employment duration, etc.

Documents required from applicants having low income

In addition to the details as mentioned above, applicant also needs to submit following documents along with the application form:

  • Salary certificate from current employer​: This is the only valid proof accepted by the banks. Salary should be credited to the applicant’s account monthly and must be mentioned in the salary slip or letter. This document should not be more than 30 days old.
  • Original and photo copy of valid passport
  • Original and photo copy of valid Emirates ID
  • Bank account statement (last 3 months)

Features/Benefits of Credit Cards

Few of the key features/benefits offered by the issuers are:

  • There is no mandatory minimum spend required to avail benefits especially cash back and reward points.
  • Supplementary or add-on card based on satisfactory usage and repayment by the primary owner. This card can be taken for friends and family.
  • Cashbacks are auto-credited. Users get cash back by spending card at fuel stations, shopping at hypermarkets/retail, online purchase, foreign transactions, etc.
  • Most of the banks do not charge any annual fee.
  • There is no need to have bank account or transfer salary.

Credit Card Denied in USA? 2 Easy Options to Still Get a Card

Sometimes getting the first credit card in the United States is not easy, especially if you don’t have a credit history or have damaged credit. Here are some steps to take if you were denied a credit card.

Do not get discouraged: The first thing to do is not get discouraged. Even if one company denies your application, there are many other companies in USA wanting to have you as a customer.

Find out the Reasons for the Denial: If your credit card was denied, you will receive a letter in the mail that includes the specific reason for the denial. Use this information to find out what you need to improve to get your credit card. You may need to apply for a different type of credit card or need to improve your credit history.

To ask for an explanation, you can call the toll-free number (800) or (888) listed in the letter with the credit card company’s denial.

Consider alternate options to build or rebuild credit: For this, consider following options to get card which are easier to get:

Department Store or Gas Card

Department stores and fuel companies usually have easy credit card approval process compared to card companies. So basically getting your first credit card with this option is little less complicated. However, consider that they have high interest rates and it is more expensive to maintain a balance. Another negative aspect of these cards is that they can only be used for a particular store or gas station chain. Although they limit what you can buy, they also offer discounts/rewards that may be interesting.

Here are few of the features/benefits of having department cards:

  • Varying cash back on gas purchase, travel, restaurants
  • Typically such cards come with no annual fee
  • Discounts on purchasing products of their own brand
  • Reward point for every dollar spend. (This varies for each card).

Few of the prominent cards offered by departmental stores are:

  1. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
  2. Target REDcard
  3. Gap Inc Visa Card
  4. Lowe’s Advantage Card
  5. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Secured Credit Card

When your (lack of) credit history prevents you from obtaining a standard credit card, you can apply for a secured credit card. With this, you make a deposit and the bank keeps this deposit in case you do not make your payments as agreed. Many credit card issuers will convert your secured credit card to an unsecured one, as long as you make your monthly payments on time. Don’t worry that a secured credit card will hurt your chances of getting other credit cards because there is nothing in your credit history to indicate that you have a secured credit card.

Here are few of the features/benefits of having secured cards:

  • No annual fee in most cases
  • The deposit kept is refundable
  • Many of these companies provide free tips/education on credit management
  • Cashbacks on certain amount of transaction/purchase at gas stations, restaurants,
  • If your transaction history is satisfactory then such companies may also convert your secured card to unsecured card

Few of the secured credit cards in USA are:

  1. BankAmericard® from Bank of America
  2. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  3. Discover it® Secured
  4. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  5. Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

2018 Stock Price of 10 US Companies with HUGE returns after 2008 Recession

After the stock market crash that triggered the major recession of 2008, the US market has now recovered to its longest ever bullish run. If you had invested $1,000 in the S&P 500 index on March 6, 2009 you would have $3,185 today, up 318.57%. Although the figure is not negligible, you could have earned much more if you had invested the same $1,000 in some specific companies.

The US stock market is experiencing the longest bull market in its history. The S&P 500 index is rebounding by around 320%, compared to 9 March 2009.

That day, the American stock market hit rock bottom, but from then on, a stock market rally had begun. Thus, while the S&P 500 index scored 683.38 points on Thursday 24 August, it closed at 2,856.98 points, a variation that represents a 318.57% increase in the selective index.

If someone had the fortune – and the courage – to invest $1,000 in one of these companies on March 6, 2009 when the S&P 500 hit record lows, their profits would have multiplied to a large amount today.

While the profits he would have allowed to invest in the index are already large, there are some companies that are beating the market, with which those who invested in 2009 managed to get even higher returns.

Below you can see which are some of the big companies in which investor would have got the most profitability with an investment of $1,000 on March 6, 2009 ranked from lowest to highest profitability.

Company NameStock Price on March 6, 2009Closing Stock Price on August 23, 2018% IncreaseCurrent Price, if $1,000 was invested in 2009
DowDuPont$16.29$68.11418%$4,181
Walt Disney$16.61$112674%$6,742
Microsoft$15.28$1077,002%$7,002
Bank of America$4.3$30.847,172%$7,172
Alphabet (Google)$154.29$1221.16792%$7,914.7
Adobe Systems$17.16$2571,497%$14,976
Apple$12.18$215.491,791.6%$17,692
Amazon$61.69$1,9023,118%$30,831
Netflix$5.41$339.176,266%$62,693
Avis$0.39$33.738,648%$86,487

The above stock price was obtained from Google Finance and the historical data from the Invertia financial portal.

 

United States: 0% Interest Balance Transfers Cards, Save Money

Living under a mountain of credit card debt is a nightmare due to two painful charges. First, the amount of goods and services that will be charged to your credit card. Second, the finance charges imposed each month on your balance.

With each statement cycle, your average daily balance is multiplied by one-twelfth of the card’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Therefore, if you owe $10,000 on a card with a 12% APR, you will earn $100 in interest each month. Finance charges earned each month are added to your balance, resulting in increased interest accruing with each passing month.

That’s when balance transfer comes to your rescue.

How a Balance Transfer Works

To help ease the debt burden and acquire new customers, banks offer credit cards with an annual percentage rate (APR) of 0%, for a limited time, on balance transfers. Qualified applicants may have their balance paid with their new card. During the time the 0% rate is applied, no interest accrues on the transferred balance. However, the amount transferred is almost always subject to a one-time balance transfer fee. This fee is generally 3% -5%. In addition, cardholders remain responsible for making minimum payments. New transactions may bear interest at the standard rate, although in some cases, the 0% promotional rate also applies to new purchases.

Finally, no matter how much you are struggling with debt, it is vital that you continue to make all your payments on time, as only applicants with excellent credit will qualify for most promotional credit card offers.

Saving money with a balance transfer

It is critical that those seeking this do so as part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate their credit card debt. Such a plan should focus on maximizing revenue, minimizing expenses and regularly paying off your credit card balance before the promotional rate expires.

As part of a plan to eliminate debt, the benefits of a balance transfer are clear. For example, if a cardholder has a $10,000 balance on a card with an annual percentage rate of 15%, he or she is accruing $125 in interest each month. If you continue to pay interest while reducing the balance by $500 per month, you will still have accrued $1,250 of interest during the 20 months it took you to pay off the balance (15% interest applied to a daily average balance of $5,000 in 12 months).

Alternatively, that person may accept a 21-month balance transfer offer at 0% interest with a 3% balance transfer fee. In this case, that person’s previous balance of $10,000 will be paid, while incurring a new balance of $10,000 plus $300 in balance transfer fees. If everything goes according to plan, the cardholder will have saved nearly $1,000 in interest.

A 0% balance transfer is not an instant solution to your credit card debt problem. You should think of these offers as a good opportunity, but you will still have to do most of the work yourself.

Best 0% balance transfer cards in the market

We are fortunate to have a highly competitive market for 0% balance transfer credit cards. None of these cards have annual fees. These are the best offers currently available.

BankAmericard Credit Card

The BankAmericard credit card offers 0% APR for 15 billing cycles, one of the longest periods offered by credit cards. This rate applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, there is a standard APR for purchases and balance transfers which varies from 12.99% -22.99%. There is also a $0 opening balance transfer fee during the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% ($10 minimum).

Chase Slate

The Chase Slate credit card is specially designed for balance transfers. Get 0% APR for 15 months. After that, a variable APR of 15.99% -24.74% is applied. What makes this card special is the zero opening balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future transactions is 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5. So, this is a great offer if you need a card to transfer a balance and get a 15-month interest relief.

Citi Simplicity Card – No late fees

Offers 0% APR for 21 months on both balance transfers and new purchases (that’s a long time). After that, the annual percentage rate of regular balance transfer will be 14.99% -24.99% (variable), depending on your credit. There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is greater). Simplicity has no money back program or points, but does not offer late fees or punitive interest rates, and includes exclusive services.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

The credit card offers 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles in the first 60 days, then 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR. There is a 3% fee ($10 minimum) that applies to balance transfers. The 3% cash rebate for gas is among the highest available in the market, and you earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/gas wholesale purchases each quarter).

HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card

Offers an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 0% for balance transfers and purchases during the first 18 months from account opening. After that, a variable APR of 11.99%, 15.99% or 19.99% will be applied. This card also does not have a penalty APR and a late fee waiver. There are no foreign transaction fees or annual fees.

Low-interest credit cards for long-term debt

Another option to save money, if you have a large debt, is to transfer the balance to a low-interest credit card. This option is especially attractive if you will not be able to pay the entire balance within the 0% APR introductory period of the previous cards.

Bank of America Credit Cards: Application, Where to Find Promotional Offers

Bank of America is one of the largest companies in the United States offering a wide range of financial products, including credit cards, loans, bank accounts and mortgages. And the line of credit cards ranges from low interest options to credit card rewards. The cash back and reward points earned can be redeemed with different airlines, cruise lines, retailers, and charities and many others, depending on the card.

Bank of America also makes it easy to search and compare your credit cards online, and if you choose, apply and receive an answer through its fast and easy online application process. Bank of America credit cards are also known to include special advantages for their banking customers, making the variety of credit cards more attractive, especially to consumers who are already their customers. Whether you’re a fan or considering becoming one, you won’t feel short of benefits with Bank of America.

How to Apply?

Applying for credit cards is quick and easy, usually requiring you to complete the online application and submit it. You can first search for the type of card you are interested in, whether you are looking for cash rewards, travel rewards or an introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 0%, and then select the card you want, with just a few clicks. In most cases, you will receive a response within minutes, informing you that the card of your choice is approved or denied.

Top Bank of America Credit Card Application Offers

Bank of America credit cards include almost every type of quality credit card product and feature you may desire. There’s even an area to check for personalized offers to find offers that don’t fall within your typical money-back or travel reward options. With so many options available, there’s a good chance you’ll find the perfect card for your needs with Bank of America.

Here’s the list of best cards:

Cash Rewards Credit Card

The BoA Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular cash reward cards, offering a 1% rebate on every purchase, 2% on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gasoline for the first $2,500 combined purchases of supermarkets/club wholesalers/gas each quarter. There is always an exclusive online offer for new cardholders. For e.g. $150 cash reward cards if you make $500 purchases with your card within the first 90 days.

Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America’s Travel Rewards credit card awards 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all purchases. You can redeem points for a state credit for a wide variety of travel purchases. The card also offers a bonus of 20,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening the account.

BankAmericard Credit Card

The BankAmericard credit card is the Bank of America’s low interest card. Offers an initial annual percentage rate of 0% on balance transfers made within the first 60 days for 15 billing and purchase cycles, with a low variable APR after 12.99% -22.99%. There is also a $0 opening balance transfer fee during the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% ($10 minimum).

How to find Bank of America card promotions

Internet

This is the most recommended choice. Although there are many ways to find the best Bank of America card promotions, Internet is most easy and fast. Online promotions often include the latest offers and many are exclusive to online applicants, such as some of the registration bonuses offered with various Bank of America credit cards. In some cases, you may not be able to take advantage of specific offers unless you make an online request. In addition, internet allows you to compare and research each credit card to make sure you find the best card and promotion available.

Mail Offers

You may receive different credit card offers in the mail from time to time. Mail offers generally include those that are most targeted to your home and are often pre-qualified or pre-approved. Credit card offers that arrive in the mail also often include special code and invitation code for each receiver promotional requests.

Most of the time, these offers will direct you to a phone number to submit your application or to sites such as mynewcard.com and bankofamerica.com/mynewcard. While mail-order offers may seem more exclusive than others, if you want to make sure you get the best deal, it is recommended that you search online and compare offers before you apply for your credit card. Otherwise, you risk missing out on better offers that have not yet been mailed.

Television

Bank of America’s television commercials include families, animals, and even The Flying Branzinos, with several credit card promotions that quickly reach a large audience. Many of the TV ads direct consumers to a phone number or website of BankofAmerica.com to apply for the card or other financial product in the commercial. Although these types of promotions are entertaining and extremely attractive, almost guaranteed to reach thousands of potential customers, they do not get all the information needed to compare and choose the best deal available. Whether you’re comparing different Bank of America cards or those with different card issuers, it’s important to research and review other competitive offerings first, rather than relying on the merchant as the best credit card offer available.

Magazines and newspapers

Magazine and newspaper ads still reach a large number of consumers looking for credit card offers. While not the best way to choose a credit card, it is still an effective resource for finding new card offers. However, these offers may be outdated depending on where you end up reading the magazine or newspaper ad. They usually include a phone number or directions to the official site, which will always have the most up-to-date credit card offers with the bank.

Bank branches

Because BoA offers so many different financial products and can link those products, it may be a good idea to see what kinds of offers are available when you visit the bank. Just like the preferred customer bonus with some of your credit cards, Bank of America may also have special promotions for customers who go to the bank branch. Plus, with more than 5,000 locations nationwide, there’s a good chance you’ll find one near you.

Credit cards for people with excellent to good credit

Bank of America offers credit cards for people with excellent or good credit, as well as those who have no credit or who have had credit problems in the past.

USA: Car Insurance Buying Tips for Visiting Tourists

If you are a foreign visitor to the United States with a valid visa and wish to buy and drive a car while in the United States, then the first thing you should do before you consider getting into your vehicle is to find out in detail how to get adequate auto insurance for yourself. Understand that, not having a car insurance is a criminal offense.

Remember that, compared to US citizens, buying car insurance when you are a tourist is a little complex process and expensive as the premium is on a higher side for non-resident drivers. But interestingly, buying a car is little easy.

Insurance companies in the United States have a variety of auto insurance policy offers with each offering different coverage/benefits/features to both residents and visitors with a valid visa. Note that, there are specific conditions and guidelines in some states, so looking for local information on these requirements is essential.

Here are some tips you can follow to buy car insurance during your stay in the United States

Driving License: Obtain an international driver’s license from your country of residence. Without this, you are not allowed to buy or drive or get the necessary auto insurance in any country you visit. Carry this license with you, as you will need to show it at the time of buying insurance.

Rules & Regulations: Learn seriously about the traffic, driving, and parking rules and regulations that apply in the United States. You can get this information from the Department of Motor Vehicles in any city.

Research and Compare: Surf and search the internet for everything regarding insurance companies that specialize in providing auto insurance coverage to foreigners. However, it is always advisable to seriously search for information in detail, compare all the features and benefits, and then select the one which best suits your needs. And all these steps can be done before visiting the USA as it will save time since you already know, what you want to buy.

Know about the coverage: Once you have decided on the right company, consult with one of your agent and inquire about all the coverage alternatives available to you as a foreigner. For example, ask if you are entitled to a comprehensive or comprehensive protection policy that covers and protects your vehicle fully. While it is required by law within the United States to have a basic auto insurance policy that provides you with liability coverage, at a minimum, for injuries to occupants and damage to third parties in their persons and/or property, being able to extend the limits of coverage is always a good decision.

Covering Additional Members: Also ask if you can be added to the policy of a family member or friend who lives in the United States. This may be a more viable way to get not only your auto insurance, but perhaps a better rate.

Other important tips visitor should know before buying auto insurance

  • You can purchase your auto insurance policy through a credit card. Check to see if your credit card can provide the auto insurance coverage you need through the insurance agents of your choice. Check out secured credit for immigrants in USA.
  • Make sure to clearly inform the insurance company of the type of visa you hold. The temporariness of your visa may be an important factor to consider when it comes to offering the right insurance plan for you.

5 Tips to Save Money on Auto Insurance in USA

Buying auto insurance is like driving blindfolded. If you send your details to a dozen insurance companies your E-mail box will be flooded with a dozen different quotes from several companies. Some of them being twice as expensive as others. Insurance companies calculate premiums by taking into consideration multiple factors, including age, driving history, and type of car, model, etc.

But if you are already insured, check your policy to see what you are paying for and follow these steps to save money on auto insurance in USA

1. Compare competitors often

Comparing before buying helps in big savings. Check out several different insurance companies every 2 or 3 years. The situation at the time of buying the auto insurance policy might now be different. For example, if you drive fewer miles then it may reduce your bonus a bit. Or maybe the company has adjusted its subscription or rating in ways that help, or hurt, your bottom line. You get little benefit from clinging to the same insurer year after year. Remember that the “long-term customer discount” is, for the most part, a myth. Insurance companies now consider whether you are experienced. If yes, then premiums will drop, which makes it a good time to buy. And getting married can help, too. Two people in their 30’s who get married and combine policies can save a decent dollar per year compared to what they would pay as singles.

2. Consider multiple factors

Try comparing car insurance quotes online on sites such as TheZebra.com, which uses data from Quadrant, a private company that collects and analyzes rate documents supplied directly by the insurance companies. It offers estimates of 18 to 35 insurers, depending on the state. That compares to the mere 3 to 10 quotes provided by other sites, including insurance.com, compare.com and nerdwallet.com.  Your objective should be to be save money and at the same time get maximum coverage with maximum discounts.

3. Consider increasing overall and auto accident deductibles

Accident insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by impact with another car or object, regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive insurance covers theft of your vehicle and damage from fire, flood, a falling branch, and so on. The average driver files accidental claim only once every 5 to 10 years, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The higher your deductible, that is, the amount you pay before the insurance begins to cover, the lower your premium, especially for car accidents.

4. Make sure you are protected with relevant coverage

Make sure you get sufficient liability coverage. It is recommended to have 100/300/100 coverage, which pays for bodily injury up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and property damage up to $100,000. And buy uninsured/under insured motorist coverage with the same limits, in the event you are hit by a hit-and-run driver or an under insured driver.

Finally, for greater protection against liability, consider a comprehensive policy. A $1 million policy typically costs about $200 to $400 per year.

5. Check rating of insurance companies

Ratings demonstrate the overall satisfaction of CR underwriters with auto insurance companies over the past two decades. An affordable policy will not help much if the company provides partial service or makes it difficult for you to pay a claim.

SBI Xpress Credit Personal Loan for Low Income (Rs.5000/month) Earner

Personal loan is the biggest profit making business for a financial institution. This is mainly because of the high interest rate charged in addition to various other fees such as late payment, foreclosure, etc.

And when it comes to borrower, individuals from low income group are mostly in need of personal loan either for medical emergency, short term money need, etc. However this category of individuals are not the main the target audience of the bank despite of the fact that bank need more new customers in order to garner more profit. The biggest reason for this is the high risk associated with poor earners as repayment capacity is considered not to be good, which is practically correct. Failure to make repayment results in rise of non-performing assets which is a loss for any lender.

This is the reason, low salaried individuals in need of personal loan have a belief that financial institutions offer loans only to high income/salaried only. And because of this belief, they approach private money lenders or others giving loan to low income earners in return of high interest and pledging the security. However this is not true.

There are many financial lenders offering personal loan to low salaried individuals and one such lender is State Bank of India, India’s largest public sector bank. And one of their loan product is SBI Xpress Credit Personal Loan is targeted towards low salaried individuals only.

Here is the table showing the important information:

Minimum Net Monthly RequiredRs. 5,000
Minimum Term Loan AvailableRs. 25,000
Maximum Term Loan Available24 times net monthly income or maximum Rs. 15,00,000 (15 Lacs)
Repayment Period5 Years
Interest Rate:
For IT employee with credit bureau score (750 & above)13.15%
For IT employee with credit bureau score (550 - 749)14.15%
For IT employee with credit bureau score (Less than 550 / No Score)15.15%
Government/Central govt. employees12.65% - 14.75%
Co-operatives or unrated companies13.40% - 15.00%
SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (800 & above)10.75%
SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (700 - 799)11.25%
SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (600 - 699)12.25%
SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (Less than 600)No loan provided
Non-SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (800 & above)11.00%
Non-SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (700 - 799)11.50%
Non-SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (600 - 699)12.50%
Non-SBI salaried employees with credit bureau score (Less than 600)No loan provided

So as you can see, if your net monthly salary is Rs. 5,000 (Rs. 60,000) then you have a good chance to get loan provided you meet other eligibility criteria.

Other benefits of this product

  • Compared to its other loan products, interest rate charged is very low depending on the category of the applicant, as shown in the above table. The reason for high interest rate is the risk associated in personal loan.
  • It is a unsecured loan. Meaning, there is no requirement of providing any type of security.
  • Many of loan products available in the market has high processing fee
  • Upon successful repayment of the loan, borrowers can apply for second loan as well. However the eligibility criteria is overall EMI/NMI ratio of 50%.
  • If there is any overdue amount, then additional interest of 2% per annum will be charged.

Additional reading – list of other banks offering loan to poor income earners.

Eligibility

In addition to the net monthly income, the applicants must be working in following institutions:

  • Central and state government
  • Central PSU
  • Educational institutions
  • Selected companies having business relations with SBI

Things low income earners should keep in mind

1) Never approach multiple banks when applying for the loan as it affects your credit score negatively

2) Always try to complete the loan repayment before the standard loan tenure without foreclosure or any other charges.

Check out tips on how to earn extra income

3) Take successful loan closure letter from the bank once all the money is fully paid-off. This helps for any future dispute with the bank.

4) After closing the loan, check with the bank whether they have updated CIBIL record or not. If not, ask them to do this on priority. This is highly important because you may not get any type of credit in the future if record in CIBIL database is not updated. So when you apply for any loan in the future, the bank will check CIBIL record. And if they found that your previous loan is still active, they may reject your loan application. And at the same time, this rejection will be updated in CIBIL record.

5) In addition to interest rate, personal loan comes with many other charges which are mentioned in the documents. However individuals tend to ignore reading these charges and only when they are levied such charges, they realize such charges exist.

6) Always negotiate with the bank on lowering the interest rate without any hesitation. Especially when your credit score is good, banks may reduce the charges. Negotiating is an extremely good strategy when it comes to any financing.

7) Always compare rates of multiple lenders. The main objective of low salaried individuals seeking personal loan should be to save money wherever possible.

Visit this SBI link for more details about Xpress Credit Personal Loan.