Credit cards have gotten a very bad rap over the last few years. This article will show you how credit cards can be used to your advantage, how to keep from making mistakes that can cost you, and most importantly, how to get yourself out of trouble if you’ve already waded in too deep.
Decide what rewards you would like to receive for using your credit card. There are many options for rewards that are offered by credit card companies to entice you to applying for their card. Some offer miles that can be used to purchase airline tickets. Others give you an annual check. Choose a card that offers a reward that is right for you.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Never keep a written copy of your password or pin number anywhere. Make sure you know your password so you ensure that only you have access to it. Writing the pin number down, and having it in the same place as your card, will give anyone access to it if they want it.
Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.
Secured credit cards could be the best option when your credit is less than stellar. A secured credit card require a balance for collateral. The reality is that you are using money that is yours and paying interest on it. It isn’t ideal, but it’s the only method to improve your credit. Only apply for a secured credit card from a well-known, reputable company. They may offer you an unsecured card later, which will help your score even more.
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.
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.
If you get to a point where you are having a difficult time making the monthly payment on a credit card, then you should destroy the card so that you will not be tempted to use it again. You can still pay it off without having the card in your possession.
Shop around for different credit cards. Interest rates and other terms tend to vary greatly. There are also various types of cards, such as cards that are secured which require a deposit to cover charges that are made. Make sure you know what kind of card you are signing up for, and what you’re being offered.
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.
Always try to avoid credit cards that have annual fees associated with them. Usually, no annual fees cards are offered to those with better credit scores. These annual fees can negate any advantage of a rewards program. Calculate it for yourself. Credit companies do not make annual feels blatantly obvious; you have to scour the fine print for them. Get your reading glasses out! Then consider if any fees charged outweigh the cards benefits. Often, they do not.
Keep your credit card spending to a small percentage of your total credit limit. Usually 30 percent is about right. If you spend too much, it’ll be harder to pay off, and won’t look good on your credit report. In contrast, using your credit card lightly lessens your stress, and can help improve your credit score.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
If you use your credit cards to pay for gas, do not run too close to your spending limit if you have a purchase coming up. Many gas stations will put a $75 hold on your credit card for a few days, eating up your available space, meaning you can not charge other things.
If you lose your credit card, remember to report it right away to your card provider. If a card is stolen and used before it is reported missing, you could be held responsible for any charges made. Once you have reported a card stolen, legally you cannot be liable for any further charges made on the card.
Some people need help getting out of a jam that they have created, and others are trying to avoid the pitfalls that they know are out there. Regardless of which camp you came from, this article has shown you the best ways to use credit cards and avoid the deep debt that comes along with them.