Consumer advice can be a little hard to come by these days, especially in regards to credit cards. The proper use of a credit card can help ensure you maintain a positive credit score. Consider that many individuals have cards and do not understand how to handle them correctly, this is how financial problems begin.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
Shop around for a card. Interest rates and terms can vary widely. There are also various types of cards. There are secured cards, cards that double as telephone calling cards, cards that let you either charge and pay later or they take out that charge from your account, and cards used only for charging catalog merchandise. Carefully look at the offers and know what you need.
Avoid being the victim of credit card fraud by keeping your credit card safe at all times. Pay special attention to your card when you are using it at a store. Double check to make sure you have returned your card to your wallet or purse, when the purchase is finished.
Emergency, business or travel purposes, is all that a credit card should really be used for. You want to keep credit open for the times when you need it most, not when purchasing luxury items. You never know when an emergency will crop up, so it is best that you are prepared.
Keep a close eye on your credit card balance. Also be aware of the credit limit that applies to your account. If you go over that limit, you are going to pay more fees than you realize. It is going to take a longer time to pay off the balance when you’re always going over the limit.
If you need to use credit cards, it is best to use one credit card with a larger balance, than 2, or 3 with lower balances. The more credit cards you own, the lower your credit score will be. Use one card, and pay the payments on time to keep your credit score healthy!
One important tip for all credit card users is to make a budget. Having a budget is a great way to figure out whether or not you can afford to buy something. If you can’t afford it, charging something to your credit card is just a recipe for disaster.
Do not hesitate to ask your creditors if they can give you a lower interest rate. If you have a good credit history with them, they may give you a better rate. A phone call might be all that is necessary to get a better rate and to save you a lot of money.
If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!
Do not lend other people your credit card for any reason. It’s a bad idea to lend them out to anyone, even friends in need. You could be struck with expensive over-limit charges by your credit card provider if your friend accidentally overspends.
You may want to consider using layaway, instead of credit cards during the holiday season. Credit cards traditionally, will cause you to incur a higher expense than layaway fees. This way, you will only spend what you can actually afford during the holidays. Making interest payments over a year on your holiday shopping will end up costing you far more than you may realize.
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.
As the article said in the beginning, it is easy to start getting into debt when you don’t know how to use a credit card. Carrying a balance, late payments, and big purchases can all get an uneducated credit card user into high debt. The information in this article can help you properly manage your credit cards and keep you financially healthy.