How To Know What Your Credit Card Finance Charges Are
Is it possible to use credit cards responsibly, or do you feel as though they are only for the fiscally brash? If you believe that it is impossible to use a credit card in a healthy manner, you are mistaken. This article has some great tips on responsible credit usage.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
If you have trouble getting a credit card on your own, try to find someone who will co-sign for you. Co-signers can be friends, relatives or anyone with a solid credit history of their own. A co-signer states they are willing to be responsible for the debt if you default. Doing so is a good way to start building credit.
Do not use one credit card to pay off the amount owed on another until you check and see which one has the lowest rate. While this is never considered the best thing to do financially, you can occasionally do this to make sure you are not risking getting further into debt.
Take advantage of the freebies offered by your credit card company. Many companies have some sort of cash back or points system that is attached to the card you own. When you use these things, you can receive cash or merchandise, just for using your card. If your card does not offer an incentive like this, call your credit card company and ask if it can be added.
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.
When utilizing a credit card on the Internet, be careful. Prior to entering any card information, ensure the site that you are utilizing is a secure one. This will keep your information away from prying eyes. Be very careful when replying to any emails you receive that ask for personal information: you should call the company or go to their website and do not reply to those emails.
If you can’t get a credit card because of a spotty credit record, then take heart. There are still some options that may be quite workable for you. A secured credit card is much easier to get and may help you rebuild your credit record very effectively. With a secured card, you deposit a set amount into a savings account with a bank or lending institution – often about $500. That amount becomes your collateral for the account, which makes the bank willing to work with you. You use the card as a normal credit card, keeping expenses under that limit. As you pay your monthly bills responsibly, the bank may decide to raise your limit and eventually convert the account to a traditional credit card.
If you are called and asked for the number of your credit card, refuse to divulge it. Scammers commonly use this method for getting your number. Make it a point to only give your credit account number to trusted businesses when you have originated the call. Do not provide it to the people that contact you. This is a fairly common practice used by thieves and the caller usually is not who they say they are.
To avoid interest charges, don’t treat your credit card as you would an ATM card. Don’t get in the habit of charging every single item that you buy. Doing so, will only pile on charges to your bill, you may get an unpleasant surprise, when you receive that monthly credit card bill.
Use a credit card that offers rewards. Not every credit card company offers rewards, so you need to choose wisely. Reward points can be earned on every purchase, or for making purchases in certain categories. There are many different rewards including air miles, cash back or merchandise. Be wary though because some of these cards charge a fee.
If your credit score is not low, try to find a credit card that does not charge many origination fees, especially a costly annual fee. There are plenty of credit cards out there that do not charge an annual fee. Find one that you can get started with, in a credit relationship that you feel comfortable with the fee.
If you get into trouble, and cannot pay your credit card bill on time, the last thing you want to do is to just ignore it. Call your credit card company immediately, and explain the issue to them. They may be able to help put you on a repayment plan, delay your due date, or work with you in ways that won’t be as damaging to your credit.
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.
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.
Don’t forget the things you learned in this article, and you are well on your way to having a healthier financial life which includes responsible credit use. Each of these tips are very useful on their own, but when used in conjunction, you will find your credit health improving significantly.