There can be no doubt that credit cards have the potential to be either useful financial vehicles or dangerous temptations that undermine your financial future. In order to make credit cards work for you, it is important to understand how to use them intelligently. Keep these tips in mind, and a solid financial future can be yours.
It is a good idea to have a couple of open credit cards. This will increase your credit score over time, especially if you don’t carry a balance from month to month. However, opening too many is a mistake and it can hurt your credit score.
Be sure that you only use your credit card on a secure server, when making purchases online to keep your credit safe. When you input your credit card information on servers that are not secure, you are allowing any hacker to access your information. To be safe, be sure that the website starts with the “https” in its url.
If you do not have credit and want a credit card, consider getting a co-signer. A parent, friend, sibling or other trusted person with previously established credit can be a co-signer. They must be willing to sign stating they will pay the balance due on the card if you do not pay it. This works great for getting a first credit card that you can use for building credit.
Make sure to sign your cards as soon as your receive them. At some stores, cashiers will verify your signature on the card against the signature you sign to the receipt as an added security measure.
Only take cash advances from your credit card when you absolutely have to. The finance charges for cash advances are very high, and very difficult to pay off. Only use them for situations in which you have no other option. But you must truly feel that you will be able to make considerable payments on your credit card, soon after.
Whenever you are considering a new credit card, you should always avoid applying for credit cards that have high interest rates. While interest rates compounded annually may not seem all that much, it is important to note that this interest can add up, and add up fast. Make sure you get a card with reasonable interest rates.
You need to pay more than the minimum payment each month. If you aren’t paying more than the minimum payment you will never be able to pay down your credit card debt. If you have an emergency, then you could end up using all your available credit. So, each month try to send in a little extra money in order to pay down the debt.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
Do not make a payment on your card the moment after you use it. Pay the whole balance instead once your credit card statement comes. That will be a better reflection on your history of payment, and that will lead to an improved credit score.
Keep one low-limit card in your wallet for emergency expenses only. All other cards should be kept at home, to avoid impulse buys that you can’t really afford. If you need a card for a large purchase, you will have to knowingly get it from your home and take it with you. This will give you extra time to think about what you are buying.
If you get to a point where you are having a difficult time making the monthly payment on a credit card, then you should destroy the card so that you will not be tempted to use it again. You can still pay it off without having the card in your possession.
There are so many cards available that you should avoid signing up with any company that charges you a monthly fee just for having the card. This will end up being very costly and might end up making you owe much more money to the company, than you can comfortably afford.
Sometimes, people get excited about certain rewards programs, and they make a hasty decision to go with that particular company. First of all, check the fine print. Second of all, make sure you know what else is out there, before you jump into a relationship with a credit card company.
Credit cards can offer convenience, flexibility and control when used appropriately. If you want to understand the role credit cards can play in a smart financial plan, you need to take the time to research the topic thoroughly. The advice in this piece offers a great starting point for building a secure financial profile.