recognition of National Get Smart About Credit Day on October
20th, Baylake Bank is urging customers to educate themselves on
responsible credit habits.
No matter your age or financial standing, it’s never too early
to get smart about credit. Mastering the fundamentals of credit
provides a foundation that will prove invaluable throughout your
Baylake Bank encourages customers to follow these dos and don’ts
• DO pay at least the minimum amount due, and contact
your creditor if you have trouble making payments. This will
help you avoid late fees and a rising APR (Annual Percentage
Rate). To pay off your balance more quickly, pay more than the
minimum due. If you are unable to make the minimum monthly
payments, let your creditors know so they can work with you to
create a more manageable payment plan.
• DO be wary of anyone who claims they can "fix" your credit
report. No one can legally remove negative accurate
information from your credit history. The only thing that can
fix a credit report is time and a positive payment history.
• DO read the fine print on the credit application. The
application is a contract, so read it carefully before signing.
Credit card companies are very competitive so interest rates,
credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms and conditions
• DON'T feel pressure to get a credit card. If you don't
want one, you have the right to say "no." Under the new CARD Act
2009, consumers aged 18-21 cannot be solicited for credit. If
you no longer wish to receive prescreened offers, opt out by
calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit
• DON'T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If
you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, use cash-advances to
fund daily living expenses, or transfer a lot of balances, you
might be in the credit danger zone. Talk to a financial
counseling organization to regain control of your finances.
• DON'T share your credit card number. Never give out
credit card or personal information if you have not initiated
the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams
that ask for credit card numbers. If you suspect that your
identity has been compromised, file a complaint with the Federal
Trade Commission by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TDD:
202-326-2502, or visit