Have you thought that you needed a credit card for emergencies, but have not been sure which card to get? If so, you’re in the right place. This article will answer all your questions about credit cards, how to use them, and what to look for in a credit card offer. Read on for some great tips.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
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.
If you have a credit card with high interest you should consider transferring the balance. Many credit card companies offer special rates, including 0% interest, when you transfer your balance to their credit card. Do the math to figure out if this is beneficial to you before you make the decision to transfer balances.
Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.
An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.
If you want a card but don’t have credit, you might need a co-signer. A family member or close friend with good credit can co-sign for you. Your co-signer will be legally obligated to make payments on your balance if you either do not or cannot make a payment. This method is a smart way to help build your credit with a first credit card.
Be smart with how you use your credit. Many people are in debt, due to taking on more credit than they can manage or else, they haven’t used their credit responsibly. Do not apply for any more cards unless you need to and do not charge any more than you can afford.
Instead of just blindly applying for cards, hoping for approval, and letting credit card companies decide your terms for you, know what you are in for. One way to effectively do this is, to get a free copy of your credit report. This will help you know a ballpark idea of what cards you might be approved for, and what your terms might look like.
It is good credit card practice to pay your full balance at the end of each month. This will force you to charge only what you can afford, and reduces the amount of interest you carry from month to month which can add up to some major savings down the line.
It is good practice to check your credit card transactions with your online account to make sure they match up correctly. You do not want to be charged for something you didn’t buy. This is also a great way to check for identity theft or if your card is being used without your knowledge.
You should ask the people at your bank if you can have an extra checkbook register, so that you can keep track of all of the purchases that you make with your credit card. Many people lose track and they assume their monthly statements are right and there is a huge chance that there may have been errors.
Don’t close accounts. Doing so can actually cause damage to your overall credit score. This is so because it subtracts how much credit you can have from your overall credit. Then it lowers how much you owe and how much credit you are able to maintain.
Make a spending plan. When carrying a credit card on you and shopping without a plan, you have a higher chance of impulse buying or overspending. To avoid this, try planning out your shopping trips. Make lists of what you plan to buy, then decide on a charging limit. This plan will keep on track and help you resist splurging.
After reading this article, you should be far less confused about credit cards. You now know how to evaluate credit card offers and how to find the right credit card for you. If this article hasn’t answered absolutely everything you’ve wondered about credit cards, there’s more info out there, so don’t stop learning.