What do you think of when you hear the word credit? If you start to shake or cower in fear because of a bad experience, then this article is perfect for you. It contains many tips related to credit and credit cards, and can help you to break yourself of that fear!
Do not use your credit cards to make emergency purchases. Many people believe that this is the best use of credit cards, but the best use is actually for things that you purchase on a regular basis, like groceries. The key is, to only charge things that you will be able to pay back in a timely manner.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
Live by a zero balance goal, or if you can’t reach zero balance monthly, then maintain the lowest balances you can. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control, so go into your credit relationship with the goal to always pay off your bill every month. This is especially important if your cards have high interest rates that can really rack up over time.
Always be careful when buying things online with a credit card. Make sure to only purchase from a security encrypted site. Secure sites keep your card information safe. Also, disregard emails which attempt to collect credit card information.
The interest rate in the initial offer is not always the interest rate your card will have. Remember, the credit industry is competitive between companies, and each company has different rates available to them. If you are unhappy with your current interest rate, call the bank or company and ask for a lower one.
If you find yourself dissatisfied with the interest rate on your card, request an adjustment. If, after speaking with a retention team member, you are still unable to get a reduction, start looking elsewhere for a better rate. When you find one, try to switch over to that company right away.
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.
Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
Always review your credit card statements carefully. Make sure that the charges you made are accurate, and be on the lookout for questionable charges. Report errors and mistakes to your credit company right away. This will help you reduce the amount you pay and will raise your credit score.
Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.
Do not go on a spending spree just because you have a new card with a zero balance available to you. This is not free money, it is money that you will eventually have to pay back and going overboard with your purchases will only end up hurting you in the long run.
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.
If you utilize several credit cards, choose one to pay off each month. Even if you’re carrying lots of debt on some cards, maintaining one card that is well managed is good for your credit score.
If you are faced with a high APR on your cards, but have been a good customer to the bank, call them and ask for a reduction. A lot of times they will bring it down for you. If you keep a balance on the card, this can help to save quite a bit of money.
How do you feel now? Are you still scared? If so, it is time to continue your credit education. If that fear has passed, pat yourself on the back. You have educated and prepared yourself in a responsible manner.