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.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
You should contact your creditor, if you know that you will not be able to pay your monthly bill on time. Many people do not let their credit card company know and end up paying very large fees. Some creditors will work with you, if you let them know the situation ahead of time and they may even end up waiving any late fees.
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.
Odds are you’re well aware that late fees can be killer, but keep in mind that fees for going over your limit can also be quite harsh. Both are high fees and going over your limit will also damage your credit score. Keep an eye on your finances, and don’t go over your limits.
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.
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!
The key to using a credit card correctly lies in proper repayment. Every time that you don’t repay the balance on a credit card account, your bill increases. This means that a $10 purchase can quickly turn into a $20 purchase all due to interest! Learn how to pay it off every month.
If you ever have a charge on your card that is an error on the credit card company’s behalf, you can get the charges taken off. The way you do this is by sending them the date of the bill and what the charge is. You are protected from these things by the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
If you can’t pay your credit card balance in full each month, be sure to make at least double the minimum payment until it is paid off. Paying only the minimum will keep you trapped in escalating interest payments for years. Doubling down on the minimum will help to ensure you get out from the debt as soon as possible. Most importantly, stop using your credit cards for anything but emergencies until the existing debt is paid off.
Don’t get high-limit credit cards by lying about your income. Companies that offer these cards may not verify income, which means you will get a high limit card, but you may spend more money and incur more debt.
If you don’t use a card, you should think about closing it. Shutting down credit card accounts that aren’t being used reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft. You may also close accounts that have balances if you don’t want to use them anymore. You merely continue making payments on the balance until you pay it off.
When it comes to credit cards, be sure that you are weary of any sort of free offers. This is important, because a lot of times, the freebies that you are offered can be thought of as traps that may lure you in and end up costing you a lot of money in the future.
Be certain to understand the terms of any rewards programs offered by your cards. You must wade into the detailed terminology. If there are blackout dates, the reward may not do you any good. Credit card providers often make restrictions difficult to find and understand. The truth of the matter is, they don’t really want you to be able to reap the rewards they initially offer. Reward programs are used simply as an enticement to get you to sign up for a card.
Read, memorize and then, understand the terms and conditions of each and every credit card you have. Know what the interest rate is, as well as, what each fee is and have the payment and bill cycles marked on your calendar. Doing this means there will be no surprises when it comes to your card.
If you have a history of managing your credit well, consider opening a cash-back rewards card for purchases like gas and groceries. These types of cards are good for day-to-day purchases. For example, you may receive 50 dollars, or even more, cash back each month just for charging your daily needs! This is also a smart way to save up for the holidays. However, you want to be careful you don’t keep a balance on the card because the interest rates charged will negate all the rewards.
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.