Kuna Kave Kids Daycare operates in an older home. During the winter months there is frost on some of the windows, but inside, the home remains warm.
We just knew we were losing heat through the windows, owner Patty Downum said. And, weve been talking with our bank about financing options.
She was a little baffled when she received a letter stating that her business was one of 1,000 small businesses across the United States selected to receive Working Capital Relief Funds.
She called BBB to verify the offer. The letter made it sound as if she was receiving $150,000 through a working capital grant. It contained a credit card embossed with Downums name and that of her business. An activation sticker told Downum to call a phone number to prevent unauthorized use.
I thought how odd it was that Id get a credit card that anyone could take and use, she said.
The fine print in the letter states its an offer to establish credit.
The Better Business Bureau suggests you watch for red flags. Not all credit offers are legitimate, so proceed with caution if you receive:
Classified ads or email or telephone solicitations that offer guaranteed credit cards for advance fees. These offers may have terms and conditions that severely restrict use, or you may never receive the card at all.
Promises youll secure a credit card regardless of your credit history.
Solicitations from credit card issuers not located in the United States and/or that require a fee to process your application.
Offers that appear to be for a credit card, but in reality only extend a credit line for the issuing companys website or catalog products.
To find an offer that fits your needs, consider talking with your bank or credit union representatives. Your bank may issue a card that suits your budget or may have recommendations for finding legitimate offers with other companies. If your credit history is bad, it may be in your best interest to get a secured card. A secured card requires you to place a deposit in an account at the issuing bank equal to your credit limit.
Other tips for legitimate offers:
Check the issuing banks Better Business Bureau Business Review at www.bbb.org.
Look for offers that do not charge an annual fee.
Read the fine print. Find out all of the cards terms and conditions, including if there is a grace period during which you may avoid finance charges and late penalties by paying your balance in full by the due date. Make sure to get details about the offer in writing.
Look for low annual percentage rates. Make sure you understand under what conditions the APR may change, such as if payments are late. Be aware that cash advances may incur much higher APRs.
While the credit offer Downum received is legitimate, she says shes working with her credit union to get the financing options on the windows.
It just makes sense to me to work with someone I know, she said.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115