I’ve noticed that issuers are experimenting with different looks for credit cards these days. Some are printing card numbers instead of embossing them on the cards, while others are moving card information from the front to the back. Some have…
Credit card companies know what features their customers are looking for and naturally use the information to make their terms sound as compelling as possible. For example, they may capitalize on existing legislation designed to protect consumers, and they definitely make liberal use of “the fine print” to qualify their glorious-sounding offers.
In other words, many of their policies aren’t as great as they make them out to be, so don’t be fooled. Know what you’re really getting before you sign up. After all, the last thing you want to do is make an important financial decision based on terms that you don’t understand.
I have yet another confession to make. Even though I often tell others to read their credit card agreements, I have never done so until now. And I’d be lying if I told you I got much further than the first page.
It’s not that I have an aversion to reading. In fact, I love a good book, editorial etc., but there is a reason that I don’t reach for my credit card agreement when I want to unwind. It’s seriously the most boring and tedious text I’ve ever tried to understand. And I think that says a lot coming from a recently graduated journalism/neuropsychology student.
Apparently I’m not the only one who has trouble stomaching the fine print. The average credit card agreement is written at a 12.37 grade level, making them incomprehensible to approximately 80 percent of Americans, according to a recent study by CreditCards.com.
I read above a 12th grade level. I’ve been tested. But even still, skimming my contract made me wonder whether or not I’m in need of some remedial classes. What tripped me up were the insanely long sentences and the feeling that traps lurk within every paragraph.