Having a credit card is useful for those people that want to buy things and pay for them later. However, you need to know the basics of wise credit card usage so that you do not end up buried in debt. Read this article for great credit card advice.
Set yourself a spending limit on your credit cards. You should already have created an income budget, so include credit cards in that budget. Never view your credit cards in the wrong way, such as viewing them as some extra spending money. Come up with an amount that you are able to use for your credit cards each month. Stick to it, and make sure you pay them off every month.
Many times, credit cards are associated with loyalty programs. Choose a credit card whose loyalty program offers you something valuable. This can really help you to afford the things you want and need, if you use the card and rewards with some level of care.
Those that want a new card should only look at those without annual fees that have lower interest rates. There are plenty of cards that don’t come with an annual fee, so getting one that does is foolish.
Make your credit card’s pin code difficult to guess correctly. It’s a bad idea to use a common password like a middle name or phone number since people could guess these.
Don’t use your credit cards to purchase items that you can’t afford. Just because you want a new flat-screen TV, doesn’t mean a credit card is the best way to buy it. You will pay a lot of interest and monthly payments that you could not pay for. Just leave this store, think about it for a couple of days, and then make a decision. If you still want to purchase the item, the store’s financing typically provides the lowest interest rates.
If your mailbox is not secure, do not request credit cards through the mail. Many scammers have admitted to stealing cards that were in mailboxes with no locks on them.
Retain a sales receipt when making online purchases with your card. Retain the receipt until the bill arrives so you can ensure that you were charged the proper amount. If it differs, file a dispute of charges with the company as soon as possible. This can help you to be sure that you never overpay for the items that you purchase.
Stay aware of your credit score. Most credit card issuers want borrowers with credit scores of 700 or above. Strive to maintain or reach that level by using your credit properly. When you have a 700 or higher credit score, you will get the best card offers with rates that are the lowest.
Write down the card numbers, expiration dates, and customer service numbers associated with your cards. Make sure it is in a secure location, like a lock box that does not contain other credit cards. If you were to get robbed or lose your cards, this list can come in handy.
Never believe your offered interest rate is absolute and should remain this way. The credit industry is very competitive, and you can find many different interest rates. If you are unhappy with your current interest rate, call the bank or company and ask for a lower one.
If you aren’t satisfied with you current interest rates, ask your creditor to lower them. Make it clear to your card provider that you must have a more favorable rate. If they cannot provide one, it’s time to look for a card with a better rate. After you locate a company that offers a rate you like, open an account with them and transfer your balance over to it.
Document everything you put on your card each month. Be aware that making impulsive buys can add up quickly. If you don’t keep yourself in check as far spending with credit cards, by month’s end you may not be able to handle the bill.
After you have cancelled an account, completely destroy any associated cards. If you let your child use it as a toy, or simply toss it in a drawer, it could wind up in the hands of someone else, who could then use the information from the card to reopen your account and make purchases.
It is a good idea to review all of your credit cards and consider closing the ones that you don’t use anymore. Shutting down credit card accounts that aren’t being used reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft. Even if a credit card which you no longer use has a remaining balance, it can still be closed. You simply keep paying down the balance until the debt is repaid.
Before opening a credit card, make sure you will be responsible. Some people can’t control the amount they spend. These particular people do not need to own credit cards. When they open up a credit card account, they are prone to have a terrible financial future.
The convenience of credit cards can make it tempting to use them for every single purchase you make. For the smallest expenditures, though, it’s a better idea to stick with cash. Many vendors have a minimum charge for credit card users, which means you’ll be stuck looking for extra things to buy at the last minute. Only use credit for purchases of more than $10.
Make the payment on your credit cards in a timely manner every month. If you miss even one payment, you might be faced with a new, higher interest rate. A payment that is missed or made late also shows up in your credit report and lowers your credit score. Consider setting up your account so that payments are automatically deducted from your checking account to make late payments impossible.
When you use your card properly, they can prove extremely helpful. The ideas in this piece have, hopefully, provided you with sufficient understanding to use credit cards regularly, but in a way that will not harm your financial future.