Many people have owned credit cards and found themselves in trouble with high interest rates and increasing amounts of debt. This is because they either didn’t research their cards before applying for them, or because of bad spending decisions. You can avoid making these mistakes with the tips and advice from this article.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
Do not accept the first credit card offer that you receive, regardless of how good it sounds. While you may be tempted to jump on an offer, you do not want to take any chances that you will end up signing up for a card and then, seeing a better deal shortly after from another company.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
Take advantage of the fact that you can get a free credit report yearly from three separate agencies. Make sure to get all three of them, so that you can be sure there is nothing going on with your credit cards that you may have missed. There may be something reflected on one that was not on the others.
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!
Don’t make any credit purchases with suspicious vendors. Call the toll-free or other phone numbers on the website to see if they work, and avoid buying from merchants that do not list an address on their website.
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.
Sometimes, when people use their credit cards, they forget that the charges on these cards are just like taking out a loan. You will have to pay back the money that was fronted to you by the the financial institution that gave you the credit card. It is important not to run up credit card bills that are so large that it is impossible for you to pay them back.
Keep one low-limit card in your wallet for emergency expenses only. All other cards should be kept at home, to avoid impulse buys that you can’t really afford. If you need a card for a large purchase, you will have to knowingly get it from your home and take it with you. This will give you extra time to think about what you are buying.
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 are getting rid of an old credit card, cut up the credit card through the account number. This is especially important, if you are cutting up an expired card and your replacement card has the same account number. As an added security step, consider throwing away the pieces in different trash bags, so that thieves can’t piece the card back together as easily.
Look over your credit card purchases regularly, and keep any eye on your transactions. You can even sign up to receive mobile alerts if they are available. With mobile alerts, you can immediately look into questionable charges. Call your bank or the police if you see anything suspicious.
It is easy to avoid many of the issues that can arise from credit card use if you have proper information to help you make the right choices when it comes to credit cards and purchasing. Just by applying the advice and tips in this article, it is possible for you to avoid the threats of credit debt and high interest rates.