Credit cards help people all over the world in achieving goals that they have in life. Having a credit card can open doors, and gives you a higher degree of financial latitude. That being said, it’s crucial that you select a credit card with care, and make purchases wisely. The following article is going to provide some good tips that will assist consumers in making these decisions.
Don’t use cards to buy something that you cannot afford. While credit can help you afford things you can pay off over a few months, avoid charging expensive items that you cannot pay off quickly.
If you do not have credit and want a credit card, consider getting a co-signer. A co-signer could be a trusted friend, sibling or parent and anyone that already has established credit. Your co-signer must sign a statement that makes them responsible for the balance if you default on the debt. This is a great way to get your first credit card and begin to build your credit.
Adhere to a smart budget. Simply because a card issuer has given you a spending limit, you should not feel obligated to use the entire amount of credit available. Understand the amount of money that you can pay off each month and only spend that amount so you do not incur interest fees.
Before signing up for a card, be certain that you understand all of the terms associated with it. The fees and interest of the card may be different than you originally thought. Carefully read over the fine print so that you can ensure you completely understand the policy.
Never leave a space blank on your credit card receipt when you make a purchase. Having a blank space on your receipt is literally leaving space for someone to add an amount where you don’t want it. Be sure to mark through the space with a straight line. To ensure that no one has been adding any false amounts, stay on top of your monthly statements, making sure they match your receipts.
Do not use public computers to make purchases with a credit card. Your credit information may be stored in these computers. Public computers are often found in coffee shops and public libraries. If you use these types of computers, you are setting yourself up. Don’t make purchases from any computer that’s not your own.
Do not document your password or pin number. Keep it stored in your head so that nobody else can access it. Writing your pin down and placing it in a similar area where you place your card is not a good thing to do.
Everyone has been there. You get some annoying mailings from credit card companies asking you to consider their cards. You might be looking for a credit card, however, it is far more likely that you are not. Be sure to tear up the solicits prior to throwing them way. Do not simply throw it in the trash unopened, because these solicitations often contain personal details about you.
Have a list of your credit card numbers as well as lender’s emergency phone numbers. Place it in a secure place, like a deposit box, away from your other credit cards. This list will help you if you ever lose your credit card or are a victim of a robbery.
If you are looking for a secure card, try to stay away from a prepaid card. In reality they are debit cards, which means they don’t report to any major credit agencies. Lots of these cards charge extra fees too, and they are nothing more than a checking account really. In order to really improve your credit rating, use a secured credit card account with a company that requires a cash deposit and that reports to the major credit bureaus.
Try avoiding companies which charge an annual fee. Usually, those with higher credit scores do not have to get cards with annual fees. An annual fee can quickly cancel out any rewards a card offers. Take a few minutes to run the numbers for yourself to see if the deal makes sense for you. Credit cards don’t tout annual fees, as they’re regularly found in small fine print. Make sure you are aware of all the costs associated with using your credit cards. Calculate whether the benefits of the card are worth the fees. Normally, they don’t.
Watch each of your credit transactions carefully. If they are offered, mobile alerts can be a great help. The alerts will notify you immediately if there are any unusual transactions made. Suspicious activity should be reported to your bank and the police as soon as possible.
Always read the small print before applying for any secured credit cards. Many times, you are told that you have to deposit a very small amount, but you are not made aware that most of that money might be sucked up by fees, which will end up with you having a much lower credit limit.
Never under any circumstances pay one credit card with another credit card. Some desperate card holders get a cash advance to mail in a money order, thinking they are buying themselves a month to weather an emergency. The charges that are associated with this will just make the problem worth as time goes on.
If you’re planning to travel outside of the country, tell your card company in advance. Often, a company locks out of the country transactions if they appear suspicious or they are unexpected. If they are made aware of your travel plans they will not be suspicious of any legitimate charges.
Credit cards can be very beneficial, as they allow people to buy a greater variety of products and can alter lifestyles. Credit cards, when correctly used, provide many benefits. If used improperly, they can send a consumer into bankruptcy. The advice found in this article will assist you in making smart credit decisions, and will allow you to reap the benefits of credit cards while avoiding their drawbacks.