You may have avoided credit cards because you have heard that they can get people into trouble or that responsible financial management means never using a credit card. However, if you use credit cards properly, you can boost your credit score, so you don’t want to avoid credit cards out of fear. Read on to learn how to use credit cards appropriately.
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.
Do not use your credit cards to make emergency purchases. Many people believe that this is the best use of credit cards, but the best use is actually for things that you purchase on a regular basis, like groceries. The key is, to only charge things that you will be able to pay back in a timely manner.
When you are getting your first credit card, or any card for that matter, make sure you pay close attention to the payment schedule, interest rate, and all terms and conditions. Many people neglect to read this information, but it is definitely to your benefit if you take the time to read through it.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
Create a spending budget for your credit cards. You should already be budgeting your income, so just include your credit cards in your existing budget. You should not think of a credit card as simply extra spending money. Determine how much you can spend monthly on credit cards. Stay within your budget and pay any balance off each month.
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.
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!
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.
Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.
Live by a zero balance goal, or if you can’t reach zero balance monthly, then maintain the lowest balances you can. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control, so go into your credit relationship with the goal to always pay off your bill every month. This is especially important if your cards have high interest rates that can really rack up over time.
An important tip when it comes to smart credit card usage is, resisting the urge to use cards for cash advances. By refusing to access credit card funds at ATMs, you will be able to avoid the frequently exorbitant interest rates, and fees credit card companies often charge for such services.
Always pay your credit card bill on time. Paying credit card bills late, can result in addition charges on your next bill, such as late fees and interest charges. In addition to this, late payments can adversely affect your credit score. This can negatively affect your ability to make purchases, and receive loans in the future.
Transferring a credit card balance from a high interest credit card to a card where the rate is less, can save you money every month. Credit card companies offer special introductory rates to attract new business to their credit cards. If you take advantage of one of these offers, make sure that you understand the amount of time that the introductory rate offer lasts.
Once you close a credit card account, be sure to check your credit report. Make sure that the account that you have closed is registered as a closed account. While checking for that, be sure to look for marks that state late payments. or high balances. That could help you pinpoint identity theft.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
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.
As you can now see, you’ve been doing yourself a disservice all these years by avoiding credit cards. Used correctly, credit cards aid your credit score and make it more likely that you will be able to get that mortgage or car loan you need. Use the tips that you have just read, in order to help you pick the best credit card for your needs.