Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Bryan A. Schneider, Secretary  
Bruce Rauner, Governor
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Banks and Trust Companies - Tips

Credit Cards*

  • You may view a list of the most competitive credit card interest rates in the country by going to
  • If you cannot pay off your full credit card balance each month, a lower interest rate will save you money. If you do pay off your balance in full each month, choose a card with no annual fee.
  • Report billing errors and unauthorized charges to your credit card company immediately. Keep a list of credit card numbers and card company phone numbers to alert a credit card company immediately if a card is stolen or missing. If you report the incident immediately, the most you will have to pay for any unauthorized charges is $50 on each card, regardless of how high the total unauthorized charges go before you report your card missing.
  • Don't give your credit card number over the phone to unfamiliar companies or to people who say they need it to "verify" your identity in order to give you a prize.
  • After signing your name on a credit card charge slip, remove the carbons and destroy them.
  • A Federal law gives all consumers equal access to credit. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes it illegal for creditors to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, sex, national origin, marital status, age or religion, or because of public assistance income.
  • Be cautious of offers for "secured" credit cards. These cards usually require you to set aside money in a separate bank account in an amount equal to the line of credit on the card to guarantee that you will pay the credit card debt. Some of these offers advertise that secured cards can be used to "repair" a bad credit record, but you should know that no matter how well you handle this account, your payment history on your past debts still will be taken into consideration when you apply to other lenders for credit or for employment or housing.

Courtesy of The U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs - Premier site for comparing credit cards, comparing interest rates, and finding the best overall offer. Provides information for various types of payment cards including credit, debit, ATM, loyalty, and phone cards.

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