The credit cards in your wallet, touch a multitude of various points within your life. From paying for gas at the pump, to showing up in your mailbox as a monthly bill, to impacting your credit scores and history, your credit cards have tremendous influence over your lifestyle. This only magnifies the importance of managing them well. Read on for some sound ideas on how to take control over your life through good credit card use.
You should contact your creditor, if you know that you will not be able to pay your monthly bill on time. Many people do not let their credit card company know and end up paying very large fees. Some creditors will work with you, if you let them know the situation ahead of time and they may even end up waiving any late fees.
If possible, pay your credit cards in full, every month. Use them for normal expenses, such as, gasoline and groceries and then, proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will build your credit and help you to gain rewards from your card, without accruing interest or sending you into debt.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
A great way to keep your revolving credit card payments manageable is to shop around for the most advantageous rates. By seeking low interest offers for new cards or negotiating lower rates with your existing card providers, you have the ability to realize substantial savings, each and every year.
Watch your balance carefully. Make sure you know the amount of your credit card limit. If for some reason you exceed your limit, you will be liable for large fees that you might not know about. Exceeding the limit also means taking more time to pay off your balance, increasing the total interest you pay.
Be sure to get assistance, if you’re in over your head with your credit cards. Try contacting Consumer Credit Counseling Service. This nonprofit organization offers many low, or no cost services, to those who need a repayment plan in place to take care of their debt, and improve their overall credit.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
Sometimes, when people use their credit cards, they forget that the charges on these cards are just like taking out a loan. You will have to pay back the money that was fronted to you by the the financial institution that gave you the credit card. It is important not to run up credit card bills that are so large that it is impossible for you to pay them back.
Make sure you save your statements. Before you file them away, pay close attention to what is on them as well. If you see a charge that shouldn’t be on there, dispute the charge. All credit card companies have dispute procedures in place to assist you with fraudulent charges that may occur.
An important thing to remember when using credit cards is to do whatever is necessary to avoid going over your specified credit limit. By making certain that you always remain within your allowable credit, you can avoid costly fees that card issuers frequently assess and guarantee that your account always remains in good standing.
If you go to make a purchase with your credit card and you are told that there will a surcharge for using that payment method, you can refuse to pay it and demand they accept your purchase. Many credit card companies do not allow merchants to impose fees, so you should check out the policies of your card company.
Know the credit card laws that have been enacted in recent years. For example, it’s now illegal for a credit card company to retroactively increase rates. Double-cycle billing is also forbidden. Read up on credit card laws. Check out the CARD Act, as well as a Billing Act called Fair Credit for more information.
Stay away from high interest credit cards. Many people see no harm in getting a credit card with a high interest rate, as they are sure that they will always pay the balance off in full each month. Unfortunately, there are bound to be some months when paying the full bill is not possible.
Always pay your credit card bill on time. Paying credit card bills late, can result in addition charges on your next bill, such as late fees and interest charges. In addition to this, late payments can adversely affect your credit score. This can negatively affect your ability to make purchases, and receive loans in the future.
Remember to read everything associated to it before signing for secured credit cards. Although you may only have to make a small deposit, there may be tons of hidden fees that will reduce your credit limit.
Never pay off credit card debt with a credit card. Some people use cash advances to help them buy some time when they have an emergency. However, the company charges so much in fees and interest that you’ll end up in an even worse position.
As was mentioned earlier in the article, your credit cards touch on a number of different points in your life. Even though the physical cards sit in your wallet, their presence is felt on your credit report and in your mailbox. Apply what you have learned from this article to take charge over this dominant thread through your lifestyle.