When you open your wallet to pay for gas, your choices are usually cash, debit, or credit. Cash means running inside the store, and waiting in line. Debit can mean triggering ridiculous banks fees. Using your credit card can mean an interest free loan until the bill arrives, making it a common choice. Read on, to learn some ideas you can use to make sure that your credit cards stay a friendly part of your life.
Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you compare interest rates. There is no standard when it comes to interest rates, even when it is based on your credit. Every company uses a different formula to figure what interest rate to charge. Be sure that you compare rates, to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
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.
If you have several credit cards with balances on each, consider transferring all of your balances to one, lower-interest credit card. Almost everyone gets mail from various banks offering low or even zero balance credit cards if you transfer your current balances. These lower interest rates usually last for 6 months or a year. You can save a lot of interest and have one lower payment each month!
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.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
Students who have credit cards, should be particularly careful of what they use it for. Most students do not have a large monthly income, so it is important to spend their money carefully. Charge something on a credit card if, you are totally sure you will be able to pay your bill at the end of the month.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
Sometimes, when people use their credit cards, they forget that the charges on these cards are just like taking out a loan. You will have to pay back the money that was fronted to you by the the financial institution that gave you the credit card. It is important not to run up credit card bills that are so large that it is impossible for you to pay them back.
Avoid closing accounts. You might think that by doing so you will help your overall credit score, but you might actually hurt it instead. This is because the ratio of how much you currently owe is compared to how much total credit you have available.
If you pay your credit card bill with a check each month, make sure you send that check out as soon as you get your bill so that you avoid any finance charges or late payment fees. This is good practice and will help you create a good payment history too.
Know the credit card laws that have been enacted in recent years. For example, no credit card company can impose a retroactive rate increase on you. They are not allowed to operate on double-cycle billing schedules either. Read, and keep yourself up-to-date on all of the laws that apply to credit card companies. You should pay especially close attention to both Fair Credit Billing and the CARD Acts.
Your oldest credit card is the one that affects your credit report the most. Do not close this account unless the cost of keeping it open is too high. If you are paying an annual fee, ridiculous interest rates, or something similar, then close the account. Otherwise, keep that one open, as it can be the most beneficial to your credit score.
As was mentioned earlier in the article, the credit cards in your wallet are probably a common choice for you to use for payments, for products, and services. Apply what you have learned from this article, to make sure that your credit cards stay a convenience, and not a stressful hassle in your life.