Using online credit card calculators as a personal finance tool
|Curtis Arnold is the founder of
offers a consumer report of US credit cards and instant online approvals. Named
among the 'Web's Best Sites' by SmartComputing magazine! The site is courtesy of
Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms, Inc.
The Web has greatly enhanced the availability of
helpful resources pertaining to personal finance. Online financial calculators
are a perfect example of how the Web is aiding consumers in making wise choices
about credit. Online calculators are becoming increasingly popular financial
tools and, while calculators are quite "user-friendly", there are some tips that
consumers should consider when using calculators.
It is our hope that the
following suggestions will help consumers take full advantage of the calculators
located on our site and elsewhere on the internet.
* Our first suggestion is to choose a calculator
that addresses your individual credit related needs. There are a wide variety of
calculators available and each calculator is geared for a particular financial
situation. In the
calculators section of our site, for instance, several calculators are
available and each calculator serves a unique purpose.
While the aim of most
calculators is to help consumers compare credit offers based on interest rates
and annual fees, some calculators help consumers decide if they should
consolidate their debts, choose a "reward credit card" over a
"low rate credit card", etc. Thus, being cognizant of the fact that each
calculator serves an individual purpose is important.
* Determining the exact purpose of a given
calculator can be somewhat confusing. There are two helpful tips to consider
when trying to determine the purpose of an online calculator. First of all,
there is often a link for each calculator that contains a description of the
Secondly, there is often an "explanation" tab on each calculator
gives a more detailed description of the calculator's purpose. You can always
click on the "explanation tab" before actually attempting to use a calculator.
* Experimentation is perhaps the best way to
become familiar with how to effectively utilize calculators. You can learn about
the benefits of each calculator without actually entering any personal data
because sample data is included with each calculator.
After viewing the sample
data on the "inputs" tab, simply click on the "results" tab and the "graphs" tab
to see how a calculator processes the data (the "graphs" tab is simply a
graphical illustration of the "results" tab).
* Finally, have fun with online calculators!
While most people feel that analyzing credit terms is a tedious and painstaking
process, online calculators make this process extremely simple. What's more,
many consumers actually enjoy using online calculators...so much so that they
can be addictive.
The most fun aspect of online calculator usage, though, is the
end result. After all, what could be more fun than saving potentially thousands
of dollars in finance charges or choosing the most profitable credit card reward