Many people have owned credit cards and found themselves in trouble with high interest rates and increasing amounts of debt. This is because they either didn’t research their cards before applying for them, or because of bad spending decisions. You can avoid making these mistakes with the tips and advice from this article.
It’s good credit practice to consistently maintain two or three open credit cards. That works to build a stable credit history, particularly if you repay balances in full each month. If you have more than 3 credit cards however, that might not look right to a lender who looks as your credit report.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
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.
A great way to keep your revolving credit card payments manageable is to shop around for the most advantageous rates. By seeking low interest offers for new cards or negotiating lower rates with your existing card providers, you have the ability to realize substantial savings, each and every year.
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.
Keep an eye on your credit cards even if you don’t use them very often. If your identity is stolen, and you do not regularly monitor your credit card balances, you may not be aware of this. Check your balances at least once a month. If you see any unauthorized uses, report them to your card issuer immediately.
A key credit card tip that everyone should use is to stay within your credit limit. Credit card companies charge outrageous fees for going over your limit, and these fees can make it much harder to pay your monthly balance. Be responsible and make sure you know how much credit you have left.
As you fill out a credit card receipt, make sure to put something in every space. If your receipt includes a space for indicating a tip, it’s a good idea for you to zero it out or line through it so that an unauthorized amount does not appear on your final bill. Carefully check your statements to assure your purchases match the amount on your statement.
If you make credit card purchases online, do not do so from a public computer. Your information may be stored and retrieved from computers in coffee shops, the library, etc. Typing sensitive account information on a public computer invites trouble. You should only shop online from a computer that you own.
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.
If anyone calls and asks for your card number, tell them no. Scammers commonly use this ploy. You should give your number only if you call a trusted company first to pay for something. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you. Regardless of who they claim they are, you have no way of verifying it if you did not call them.
Understand the recent developments in credit card law. For example, credit card companies may not impose retroactive rate increases. They also cannot double-cycle bill clients. Familiarize yourself with the laws. Look up federal legislation regarding credit card usage and fraud.
Never lie about your income to get a higher limit on a credit card. There are companies that will not do an income verification, which often leads to higher limits that are difficult to control.
If you have more than one credit card, leave one at home always. Use it perhaps for online purchases made from home, but do not take it out with you. This way, if you do wind up slipping up and running up the cards in your wallet, you still have an available credit card to use for emergencies.
You can easily avoid the pitfalls of credit cards if you understand the best way to use them when making your buying decisions. By applying the information here, you can avoid the high interest and debt that comes from unwise credit card use.