Credit cards may make or break you, when it comes to your personal credit. Not only can you use them to help build up a great credit score and secure your future finances. You may also find that irresponsible use can bury you in debt and ruin you. Use this article for great credit card advice.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
You may want to consider keeping a couple of credit card accounts open at any given time. This will help build your credit score, especially if you are able to pay the cards in full every month. However, if there are more than three cards to your name, a lender may think that’s no good when looking at your personal credit bureau report.
You should always try to negotiate the interest rates on your credit cards instead of agreeing to any amount that is always set. If you get a lot of offers in the mail from other companies, you can use them in your negotiations, to try to get a much better deal.
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.
If you have poor credit and want to repair it, consider a pre-paid credit card. This type of credit card can usually be found at your local bank. You can only use the money that you have loaded onto the card, but it is used as a real credit card, with payments and statements. By making regular payments, you will be repairing your credit and raising your credit score.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
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.
Watch rewards programs. These programs are quite popular with credit cards. You can earn things like cash back, airline miles, or other incentives just for using your credit card. A reward is a nice addition if you’re already planning on using the card, but it may tempt you into charging more than you usually would just to get those bigger rewards.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
You should try and limit the number of credit cards that are in your name. Too many credit cards is not good for your credit score. Having several different cards can also make it more difficult to keep track of your finances from month to month. Try and keep your credit card count between two and four.
Try to reduce your interest rate. Call your credit card company, and request that this be done. Before you call, be sure you know how long you have had the credit card, your overall payment record, and your credit score. If all of these show positively on you as a good customer, then use them as leverage to get that rate lowered.
If you cannot pay your entire credit card bill each month, you should definitely keep your available credit limit above 50% after each billing cycle. Having a good credit to debt ratio is an important part of your credit score. Make sure that your credit card is not constantly near its limit.
Keep the total number of credit cards you use to an absolute minimum. Carrying balances on multiple credit cards can complicate your life needlessly. Shift your debt onto the card with the lowest interest. You will be able to keep better track of your debts and pay them off faster if you stick with a single credit card.
Always check your discipline before opening a new credit card. Some consumers cannot help but spend more than they are able to. These individuals should not have credit cards. When those types of people open a credit card account, they are setting themselves up for a terrible financial future.
Keep a running total of your credit card expenditures and post it in a highly visible location. This way you can instantly see how much you have spent and what your current total is. Often, spending gets out of control because there is no self-monitoring of the process, and we wind up in a bad situation.
Check your credit card statement every month, to monitor it for possible fraud or identity theft. Many times, fraud goes unnoticed until it really starts to add up or a huge expense is listed that you are not familiar with. Regular monitoring of your paperwork will keep you ahead of the game and able to stop illicit activity early on.
As mentioned earlier in this article, credit cards can make or break you and it is up to you to make sure that you are doing all that you can to be responsible with your credit. This article provided you with some great credit card advice and hopefully, it will help you make the best decisions now and in the future.