Credit cards can help you to manage your finances, as long as you use them appropriately. However, it can be devastating to your financial management if you misuse them. For this reason, you may have shied away from getting a credit card in the first place. However, you don’t need to do this, you just need to learn how to use credit cards properly. Read on for some tips to help you with your credit card use.
If possible, pay your credit cards in full, every month. Use them for normal expenses, such as, gasoline and groceries and then, proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will build your credit and help you to gain rewards from your card, without accruing interest or sending you into debt.
Monitor your balance regularly. Also make sure that you understand the limits placed on your credit cards. If you do happen to go over your credit limit, the creditor will impose fees. It will take forever to pay down your balance if you continue to go over your card’s limit.
Be sure to get assistance, if you’re in over your head with your credit cards. Try contacting Consumer Credit Counseling Service. This nonprofit organization offers many low, or no cost services, to those who need a repayment plan in place to take care of their debt, and improve their overall credit.
If you have a credit card, add it into your monthly budget. Budget a specific amount that you are financially able to put on the card each month, and then pay that amount off at the end of the month. Try not to let your credit card balance ever get above that amount. This is a great way to always pay your credit cards off in full, allowing you to build a great credit score.
Consider unsolicited credit card offers very carefully before you accept them. If an offer that comes to you looks good, read all the fine print to make sure you understand the time limit for any introductory offers on interest rates. Also, be aware of fees that are required for transferring a balance to the account.
Don’t open too many credit card accounts. A single person only needs two or three in his or her name, in order to get a good credit established. More credit cards than this, could actually do more damage than good to your score. Also, having multiple accounts is harder to keep track of and harder to remember to pay on time.
Do not use your credit cards to pay for gas, clothes or groceries. You will find that some gas stations will charge more for the gas, if you choose to pay with a credit card. It’s also not a good idea to use cards for these items because these items are things you need often. Using your cards to pay for them can get you into a bad habit.
Use cards that offer you a low interest rate with a balance transfer cautiously. In many cases, that rate is only available for a short period of time. When that time expires, the rate might jump to three or four times that amount. Make sure that you understand the terms and make an educated choice about choosing, and using, these cards.
If you choose that you no longer want to use a particular credit card, be sure to pay it off, and cancel it. You should close the account so you can no longer be tempted to charge anything on it. It will help you to lower your amount of available debt. This is helpful in the situation, that you are applying for any kind of a loan.
Consider closing unused credit card accounts. You risk identity theft if you keep them open. If you are no longer using a credit card, it is wasteful to continue paying the annual fee to keep the account open.
You can avoid unintentional credit purchases by putting your debit cards on top of your credit cards. When you are rushed or distracted, you may use your credit card instead of your debit card and end up with an unintended charge.
If have a missing or stolen credit card, report it as soon as possible to the card issuers. Several companies have a 24-hour service and toll free number on their statement for this reason. To protect yourself, after calling, write a letter to every issuer. The letter should provide your card’s number, the date it went missing, and the date it was reported.
Do not be afraid to pay off a credit card with another credit card, if the paying card has better fees and interest rates. Even if the cards have similar interest rates, the newer card might offer a better rewards program or other perks and benefits, such as free flight tickets. Remember to take the time to evaluate the pluses and minuses before doing a balance transfer.
Keep a list of all your credit card information in a safe place. List all of your credit cards along with the credit card number, expiration date and phone number, for each of your cards. By doing this you will always have all of your credit card information in one place should you need it.
If you lose your credit card, make sure you immediately call your credit card company. This way, they can immediately stop your card from being valid so that no one else can use it. The company will then issue a new card to you.
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.
There is really no need to feel anxious about credit cards. Avoiding your credit cards won’t help, instead, learn about proper usage. Have this advice in mind in order to better help your finances when it comes to credit card usage.