No Interest/Low Interest Credit – Is It Right For You?

I was having fun opening my mail last night.  The first three envelopes were from different credit card companies, and each envelope contained four ready-to-use, pre-printed, “no-interest or low-interest” checks for my convenience.  Gee, it’s so easy – all I need do is sign my name.   I said to my husband, “look at this…unbelievable!  They’re throwing interest-free money at us again!”  He smiles and we spend a few moments joking about the phantom trips we’ll take, etc., but in all honesty, it hit home for me how great credit offers can turn dreams into nightmares if one doesn’t realize the steps to be taken to insure that good credit offers remain great.

We’ve all heard the expression “there’s no free lunch.” Usually a catch is attached to free offers, i.e., “hey, how about dinner and show on us,” (after you spend the next 4-5 hours of your vacation listening to a timeshare pitch)!  Well, in regard to credit offers the “catch” usually comes in the form of penalties and fees.  Credit companies are in business to make money and they cannot exist on profitless credit for everyone, thus it’s important to both read and understand the fine print.

If you never miss a payment deadline for the entire duration of the repayment process, these offers can be advantageous because you pay no or minimal interest while your savings continue to grow; otherwise, watch out!  That no-interest teaser can quickly become a steep retroactive 26.99% with additional $29.99 to $39.99 late payment fees per month if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent it.   The good news is that penalties/fees are avoidable and good credit offers can be utilized to your advantage.

Simple suggestions to gleam the most from great credit offers while protecting yourself include:

  1. Pay off the entire balance as soon as you receive the bill.  You’ll gain the billing cycle interest free.  An obvious first choice, but not always practical.
  2. Set up an automatic electronic repayment debited from your checking or savings account. An electronic payment receipt from your bank eliminates any doubt that your creditor is receiving your payment on time and their fees or penalties do not apply to your account.  This also eliminates the possibility of your payment sitting in someone’s in-box and not posting or being lost in the mail prior to your payment deadline.
  3. Set up the electronic payment to be received at least 4 days prior to the actual due date. Paying 4 days early allows the extra time for due dates that occur over the weekend or land on a holiday.
  4. If you do not desire to pay your bills electronically, set up a “tickler” calendar specifically designed with flagged mailing dates to ensure your payment is received a day or so early.  For the best result, follow up this method with a call to your creditor to make sure your payment has been posted to your account prior to your due date.  If they say the check has not been received or posted, you have an opportunity to authorize an immediate phone payment in order to avoid penalties.

Today’s savvy consumer can reap the rewards of their great credit score with offers that are convenient and inexpensive.  We at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation – Laser Institute in both Champaign-Urbana accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) including the no-interest and low-interest credit check offers that come to you in the mail.  We also offer multiple affordable financing options specifically designed for elective medical procedures, and tailored to the individual.

For additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 217.359.7508, 309.662.0436 or 800.252.7123, or visit our financing webpage at, where you can investigate, download and submit your financing application of choice.

G. D. Castillo, MD, FACS, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Skin Rejuvenation & Laser Institute

Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @ Contact us:

800-252-7123, 217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana), or 

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