Credit cards have gotten a very bad rap over the last few years. This article will show you how credit cards can be used to your advantage, how to keep from making mistakes that can cost you, and most importantly, how to get yourself out of trouble if you’ve already waded in too deep.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
Try your best to stay within 30 percent of the credit limit that is set on your card. Part of your credit score is made up of assessing the amount of debt that you have. By staying far under your limit, you will help your rating and make sure it does not start to dip.
Pay your minimum payment on time each month, to avoid more fees. If you can afford to, pay more than the minimum payment so that you can reduce the interest fees. Just be sure to pay the minimum amount before the due date.
It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.
Don’t disregard any emails or letters about changes in your credit card terms. They change terms and conditions very often so you have to keep a close eye on them. It may be intimidating to read all of that fine print, but it is well worth your effort. Take some time to read through the terms well, because you don’t want to miss important information such as rate changes.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
Under no circumstances should you fax anyone your card number. A fax may sit in a person’s inbox for a while which exposes your card number to anyone in the office. Someone could then use your credit information. This may make it easier for someone to commit fraud against you and that causes problems.
Do your research prior to applying for a credit card. Certain companies charge a higher annual fee than others. Compare the rates of many different companies to make sure you get the one with the lowest fee. Also, do not forget to find out if the APR rate is fixed or variable.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
A lot of banks no longer issue secured credit cards, but it is common to find them being offered through credit unions. If you would like to sign up for a secured credit card, you can open an account with a credit union and take advantage of whatever cards they offer.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
Some people need help getting out of a jam that they have created, and others are trying to avoid the pitfalls that they know are out there. Regardless of which camp you came from, this article has shown you the best ways to use credit cards and avoid the deep debt that comes along with them.