Do You Need Help Managing Your Credit Cards? Check Out These Tips!
There are many things that you have to have a credit card to do. Making hotel reservations, booking flights or reserving a rental car, are just a few things that you will need a credit card to do. You must carefully consider the use of a credit card and how much you are using it. Following are a few suggestions to help you.
If you are looking to open a credit card though you do not have any type of established credit, finding someone to co-sign for you can do the trick. You can have a friend, parent, sibling or anyone else that is willing to help you and has an established line of credit. Of course, they are putting themselves on the line, by becoming responsible for your credit. This is a great way to get your first credit card and begin to build your credit.
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
Instead of just blindly applying for cards, hoping for approval, and letting credit card companies decide your terms for you, know what you are in for. One way to effectively do this is, to get a free copy of your credit report. This will help you know a ballpark idea of what cards you might be approved for, and what your terms might look like.
Don’t ever use passwords or pin codes that are easily figured out by strangers when setting up your credit card options. Using something like your initials, middle name or birth date can be a costly mistake, as all of those things may be easy for someone to decipher.
Do not apply for any credit cards by mail if your mailbox is not lockable. Many scammers have admitted to stealing cards that were in mailboxes with no locks on them.
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.
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.
Keep one low-limit card in your wallet for emergency expenses only. All other cards should be kept at home, to avoid impulse buys that you can’t really afford. If you need a card for a large purchase, you will have to knowingly get it from your home and take it with you. This will give you extra time to think about what you are buying.
Always keep your credit card accounts open, if possible. Switching to another account should only be done in specific circumstances, as it is a detrimental event otherwise. A longer history on an account will benefit your credit score. Building credit is in part about keeping accounts open when possible.
Find out if the interest rate on a new card is the regular rate, or if it is offered as part of a promotion. Many people do not realize that the rate that they see at first is promotional, and that the real interest rate may be a significant amount more than that.
If you owe too much money, to a point you can’t pay it back, you will run risks of ruining your credit score. When your credit rating is damaged, certain tasks become more difficult, including renting an apartment, getting finance to buy an automobile, obtaining insurance and securing employment.
Take advantage of security features that your credit card company might offer. These might include things like adding your picture to your credit card. This is an additional step that merchants can use to verify that you are the person using the card, allowing them to help you keep your card safe from criminal activity.
Never make the mistake of not paying credit card payments, because you can’t afford them. Any payment is better than nothing, that shows you truly want to make good on your debt. Not to mention that delinquent debt can end up in collections, where you will incur extra finance charges. This can also ruin your credit for years to come!
If you feel that the interest rate that you are paying on your card is too high, you can call your credit card company and ask them to lower it. Many people do not know this and the credit card companies are not going to openly tell people that they may receive lower rates by request.
Look out for cash back credit cards. These types of credit cards give you cash back on every purchase that you make with the credit card. Cash back rates can range from 1% to 5%, so over the course of a year, you could actually earn a lot of cash back.
Avoid the temptation to consolidate multiple credit card accounts onto one card. If your credit balance rises beyond half of your available allowance, your credit score will suffer. These kinds of consolidations should be carefully considered to prevent doing damage to your credit rating. It may save you money monthly, but it could cost you your credit score.
When you use a credit card to make a reservation, (e.g. at a hotel, or for plane tickets) you should always complete the transaction using the same card. Paying in cash, or using a different card opens you up to being charged twice for the same service. Even if you are not double-charged, removing the reservation charge from your card can take a long time.
Knowing these suggestions is just a starting point to learning how to properly manage credit cards and the benefits of having one. You are sure to benefit from taking the time to learn the tips that were given in this article. Read, learn and save on hidden costs and fees.