Credit cards are a great way to build a solid personal credit history, but they can also cause significant turmoil and heartache when used unwisely. Knowledge is key, in terms of building a smart financial strategy that incorporates credit cards. Continue reading, in order to understand how best to utilize credit cards and secure financial well-being for the long term.
Fees from going over the limit want to be avoided, just as late fees should be avoided. These can both amount to significant sums, and can also do damage to your credit score. Monitor things closely, and never exceed your personal limit.
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.
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.
If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!
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.
You may want to consider using layaway, instead of credit cards during the holiday season. Credit cards traditionally, will cause you to incur a higher expense than layaway fees. This way, you will only spend what you can actually afford during the holidays. Making interest payments over a year on your holiday shopping will end up costing you far more than you may realize.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
It is a good idea to avoid walking around with any credit cards on you that already have a balance. If the card balance is zero or very close to it, then that is a better idea. Walking around with a card with a large balance will only tempt you to use it and make things worse.
A lot of people don’t get credit cards so it looks like they have no debt. It’s important use one credit card, at least, in order for you to build a credit history. If you are going to use it, pay the total debt at each statement. This will help establish credit without building a large balance. Your credit score will improve and you will be looked at as a better risk to lenders.
Shred old credit card receipts and statements. You can easily purchase an inexpensive home office shredder to handle this task. Those receipts and statements, often contain your credit card number, and if a dumpster diver happened to get hold of that number, they could use your card without your knowledge.
When using your credit card online, only use it at an address that begins with https:\. The “s” indicates that this is a secure connection that will encrypt your credit card information and keep it safe. If you use your card elsewhere, hackers could get hold of your information and use it for fraudulent activity.
With your credit cards bills, it is important that you make payment no later than your monthly due date. If you pay your credit card bill late, you may be assessed a late payment fee. Paying your bill late can also cause the percentage of interest to be raised on your unpaid balance. These actions will negatively affect your credit score.
Do not falsify information about how much your income is so that you can get a credit card with a high limit. If the company does not confirm your income, the results may be a limit that is way too high for your needs, causing you to spend too much money, and getting into huge debt.
Just about everyone has some experience with credit cards, though not every experience is positive. In order to ensure that you are using credit cards in a financially strategic manner, education is critical. Use the ideas and concepts in this piece to make certain that your financial future is bright.