Today’s smart consumer knows how beneficial the use of credit cards can be, but is also aware of the pitfalls associated with excessive use. Even the most frugal of people use their credit cards sometimes, and we all have lessons to learn from them! Keep reading for valuable advice on using credit cards wisely.
Be sure that you only use your credit card on a secure server, when making purchases online to keep your credit safe. When you input your credit card information on servers that are not secure, you are allowing any hacker to access your information. To be safe, be sure that the website starts with the “https” in its url.
Shop around for a card. Interest rates and terms can vary widely. There are also various types of cards. There are secured cards, cards that double as telephone calling cards, cards that let you either charge and pay later or they take out that charge from your account, and cards used only for charging catalog merchandise. Carefully look at the offers and know what you need.
Just like you wish to avoid late fees, be sure to avoid the fee for being over the limit too. Both fees can be very pricey, both to your wallet and your credit report. Watch your spending so you don’t exceed the credit limit.
Create a credit card spending limit for yourself other than the card’s credit limit. Most people use a budget for their income, so budgetting your credit card is a great idea too. Try not to think of credit cards as a source of extra money. Decide how much you can afford to pay your credit card company, and do not charge more than that amount every month. Stick with this and be sure to pay it every month.
Make the minimum monthly payment in the very least on all of your credit cards. Not making the minimum payment on time can cost you a great deal of money over time. It can also cause harm to your credit rating. To protect both your expenses, and your credit rating be sure to make minimum payments on time each month.
Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.
It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.
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.
You should never jot down your password or pin number, regardless of the circumstances. Memorizing your password is the only way to ensure that nobody else is able to access it. Recording the pin number, and keeping it where you keep your credit card, will provide any person with access if they desire.
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.
Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
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.
Check your card transactions frequently for false charges. If they are offered, mobile alerts can be a great help. With mobile alerts, you can immediately look into questionable charges. If you notice suspicious activity on your account, you should contact your bank immediately, and if you have to, get a hold of the police.
Don’t apply for a bunch of credit cards at one time. Applying for too much credit at once, makes you look desperate to creditors and can, therefore, harm your credit score. Apply for one credit card and use it sparingly, instead of applying for a lot of credit cards at one time.
Make sure that you are aware of your available balance on your card and that you do not try to make purchases that end up getting declined. Many credit card companies see this as a bad things and they will be hesitant to raise your card limit if you ask them too later.
As noted earlier, you have to think on your feet to make really good use of the services that credit cards provide, without getting into debt or hooked by high interest rates. Hopefully, this article has taught you a lot about the best ways to use your credit cards and the best ways not to!