Getting and using a credit card is a matter of educating yourself about credit. While there are lots of credit cards to choose from, most of them are pretty similar, so if you learn some credit card basics, you’ll be able to understand what you’re looking at. Read this article to learn about credit cards.
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.
Read the fine print. Make sure you understand what you are getting involved in, even if it is a pre-approved card or a company offering help with getting a card. Know the percent of your interest rate, as well as the length of time you will have to pay for it. Additionally, you may wish to know about their fees and any applicable grace periods.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
If you are about to start a search for a new credit card, be sure to check your credit record first. Make sure your credit report accurately reflects your debts and obligations. Contact the credit reporting agency to remove old or inaccurate information. A little time spent upfront will net you the best credit limit and lowest interest rates that you may be eligible for.
When you are making a purchase with your credit card you, make sure that you check the receipt amount. Refuse to sign it if it is incorrect. Many people sign things too quickly, and then they realize that the charges are incorrect. It causes a lot of hassle.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
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.
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.
Stay away from high interest credit cards. Many people see no harm in getting a credit card with a high interest rate, as they are sure that they will always pay the balance off in full each month. Unfortunately, there are bound to be some months when paying the full bill is not possible.
Beyond knowing the interest rate and APR, it is important to also look into any other hidden fees that you may be charged. Look for fees like service charges, cash advance fees, and application fees.
Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards.
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.
Pay your entire balance every month. If you leave a balance on your card, you’ll have to pay finance charges, and interest that you wouldn’t pay if you pay everything in full each month. In addition, you won’t feel pressured to try to wipe out a big credit card bill, if you charge only a small amount each month.
A lot of banks no longer issue secured credit cards, but it is common to find them being offered through credit unions. If you would like to sign up for a secured credit card, you can open an account with a credit union and take advantage of whatever cards they offer.
If your credit card is charging you a high rate of interest on your balance, consider transferring it to a lower interest rate card. This can save you a lot while you are working to pay down that balance. The key is to not charge any more on the old card once you have transferred your balance, or you will end up in a worse financial situation.
As stated earlier in this article, credit card use isn’t nearly as complicated as some folks like to make it seem. Now that you’ve learned a little more about credit, it shouldn’t seem overwhelming or scary. Whether you’re looking for your first card or want to improve your credit card habits, hopefully, this article has helped you.