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.
Do not use your credit card to make purchases or everyday items like milk, eggs, gas and chewing gum. Doing this can quickly become a habit and you can end up racking your debts up quite quickly. The best thing to do is to use your debit card and save the credit card for larger purchases.
Go over the fine print. If there’s an offer for a pre-approved credit card or if a person says they can help you get a card, get all of the details beforehand. It’s important to know what your interest rate is and will be in the future. Also, find out about any fees and grace periods.
Take the time to play around with numbers. Before you go out and put a pair of fifty dollar shoes on your credit card, sit with a calculator and figure out the interest costs. It may make you second-think the idea of buying those shoes that you think you need.
Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.
Look into whether a balance transfer will benefit you. Yes, balance transfers can be very tempting. The rates and deferred interest often offered by credit card companies are typically substantial. But if it is a large sum of money you are considering transferring, then the high interest rate normally tacked onto the back end of the transfer may mean that you actually pay more over time than if you had kept your balance where it was. Do the math before jumping in.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and call your bank if you are unhappy with the interest rate on your card. Make it clear you are considering closing your account, and if they still won’t help you out, look for a better company. If you find a card with better interest rates, switch credit card companies so that you can more easily meet your needs.
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.
One tip for every credit card user is to avoid making payments on your card as soon as you come home from charging something to it. Instead, hold off until your statement arrives so you can pay off the full amount. Your credit card payment history will look better and it will raise your credit score.
Try not to close your accounts. While it might seem like closing accounts would help improve your credit score, doing so can actually lower it. This is because you are actually subtracting from the total amount of credit you have, which then lowers the ratio between that and what you owe.
Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time.
Make your credit card payments on time and in full, each and every month. Most credit card companies will charge an expensive late fee if you are even a day late. If you pay your bill 30 days late or more, creditors report this late payment to the credit bureaus.
Avoid charging things like groceries or restaurant tabs on your credit card as these can take a while to appear on your monthly statement, which means possibly underestimation the balance you really have available to you. If you think you owe less than you really do, you can end up overspending and even going over your credit card limit.
Compare rewards programs before you choose a credit card company. If you plan to use your credit card for a large percentage of your purchases, a rewards program can save you a great deal of money. Every rewards programs is different, it would be best, to research each one before you make a decision.
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.
Be careful when you are signing up with secured credit card companies because a lot of them charge high fees in exchange for issuing you a card. If you have to get this type of card, then you should shop around to make sure that you are paying the lowest fees.
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.