Decoding Credit Card Offers Using The Schumer Box
26 May, 2017 / By Jennifer Hamilton
The Schumer Box was coined after Charles E. Schumer, the government official who aided in passing legislation in 1987 in order to shield consumers from out of line credit card practices. The Schumer box is composed of standardized disclosures that are clear and relevant for people to read and fully understand. It is required that they be on all financial records and incorporated into interest rates, terms and conditions, rate calculation and annual fees. With this available data, shoppers have the knowledge necessary in order to look into rates and terms from all credit card offers before they determine the one that best addresses their needs. The Schumer box allows users to avoid having to scour through fine print to locate concealed charges of an offer.
What the Schumer Box Has to Offer
Whether you’re trying to find a business card, better rate, new card or your first card, comparing various offers is much simpler with all the major details clearly laid out in a collective format. The law states that all rates must be disclosed in 12 to 18-point type. The box must be in a table with two columns that provide an outline of exactly what the terms are along with the fees and rates that go along with it.
How to Use the Schumer Box
It is advisable to use the Schumer Box in order to aid you in making the right decision about which credit card to use for your financial situation. Owing to all credit card providers having to utilize the same format, as well as provide the same information, you will easily be able to compare them in order to find the offer that provides you the most benefits. When you are evaluating which credit card offer to go with, be careful to look at all the information that the box provides, such as promotional APRs and the introductory length.
Example of The Schumer Box
APR For Purchases
The Schumer Box must contain the introductory rate and how long the rate will last. On top of this, it must list the regular interest rate and whether or not the rate is variable or fixed. You will be able to see three varying possibilities for the introductory rates that depend on your particular credit score. If you have an exceptional score then your rate will be much lower than if your credit is sub par.
The Schumer Box will also contain information pertaining to a grace period. Many credit cards will offer consumers a grace period between 20 to 30 days at which time interest will not be charged if the balance is paid fully by the due date. If you’re carrying a balance, however then there often won’t be a grace period. The Schumer box will also contain a concise explanation of how you avoid interest payments.
Don’t Skimp On the Fine Print
It’s imperative that you don’t skim over the fine print because you’re now provided The Schumer Box as it contains critical information as well. For instance, all information about the rewards that credit cards provide is not included on the Schumer Box. On top of this, benefits for being a card member, such as extended warranty coverage and rental car collision will also not be listed on the Schumer Box. Due to this, reading the fine print is important in order to gain a better understanding of all the very critical information pertaining to credit card deals. You will typically be able to find all information out by reading the pages that are included in the marketing materials.