Credit Card vs. the Bank Loan: Which is Better?

It's a common problem of our times. You, a client or someone you know wants to buy something, but may not have the cash readily available to make the purchase. What would you do, or advise your client to do?

Experts say that the annual percentage rate (APR) probably would be lower for a bank loan, even an unsecured loan, than most credit card rates. Compare the two. A credit card with a 19 percent interest rate versus a bank loan with a 15 percent rate would yield a savings of $70 over a three-year period of paying back a $1,000 loan. Not a great deal of money over a three-year period, although the savings can escalate when the amount of the loan increases.

If you really want to build up a credit history, it may be more advantageous to use a credit card to make the purchase. Make monthly payments on a timely basis and you'll build a credit history that will help you with financing in the future. Banks and other lenders who issue larger loans typically like to see the use of a major credit card because it is a good, historical measurement of your ability to follow through on payment obligations.

Be careful, though. Some lenders may look less favorably on borrowers who have more than a few credit cards.

You may like these other stories...

Individuals interested in reviewing the proposed 2015 US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) taxonomy from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have until October 31 to submit their written comments....
Ernst & Young 2013 audit deficiency rate 49%, regulators sayMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) found deficiencies in 28 of the...
PwC must face $1 billion lawsuit over MF Global adviceA federal judge on Wednesday ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to face a $1 billion lawsuit claiming that its bad accounting advice was a substantial cause of the...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.