Take the time to shop around and evaluate all of the credit card or line of credit options that are available to you. This will make it easier to find the most suitable product for you.

Choosing a card based on payment habits

If you pay your credit card balance in full every month, no credit charges will be added. In that case, the credit rate may not be an important factor to consider. However, check how much the membership and renewal fees add up to.

If you often carry your balance, you would be better off choosing a card with a lower credit rate, even if you have to pay annual fees. Shop around to compare cards with different credit rates.

Keep in mind that carrying a balance on a credit card is generally one of the most expensive forms of credit. It is therefore best to avoid doing so as much as possible.

Using a department store card

A department store card's credit rate is generally higher than that of a card issued by a financial institution. If a merchant offers you a discount if you use their card to make your purchases, you will pay credit charges if you carry your balance. These charges could end up being higher than the discount you were given.

Take the time to evaluate whether rewards programs are really to your advantage. Do they only apply to that store? If so, do you plan on going back there often enough for the program to be worthwhile? Will you have to pay additional fees?

Also be aware that the simple fact of owning a credit card affects your credit file, even if it remains unused. If you accumulate credit cards, you may have trouble obtaining credit to make a major purchase, such as a car or home.

Exercising caution when faced with various proposals

You may be enticed into getting a credit card when you are in a public place. Such a context is not favourable to making an informed decision. In that situation, you are unable to evaluate other credit products, other credit cards, or properly analyze your needs.

In fact, the law prohibits all merchants and their representatives from offering you a credit card or line of credit in a CEGEP, college, or any other type of educational institution (other than a university). However, they may make such an offer in their place of business if it is located within the educational institution.

Particularities of a line of credit

Credit charges that apply to a line of credit are often lower than those that apply to a credit card with a low interest rate.

You can shop around for a line of credit. The credit rate and various conditions of use vary from one institution to another.

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Last update : January 8, 2020

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.