Credit cards have gotten a very bad rap over the last few years. This article will show you how credit cards can be used to your advantage, how to keep from making mistakes that can cost you, and most importantly, how to get yourself out of trouble if you’ve already waded in too deep.
Only inquire in regards to opening retail cards if you seriously shop at that store regularly. Every application for a credit card is recorded on your credit file, even if you do not actually open up a store card account. If you have too many inquiries from stores, this can negatively affect your credit score.
You should contact your creditor, if you know that you will not be able to pay your monthly bill on time. Many people do not let their credit card company know and end up paying very large fees. Some creditors will work with you, if you let them know the situation ahead of time and they may even end up waiving any late fees.
Know what interest rate your credit card gets. You must understand the interest rate before agreeing to accept a credit card. Without a clear understanding of the interest charges, your bills could rise unexpectedly. If you’re paying more, you may not be able to afford to pay off the debt each month.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t start using credit cards to purchase things you aren’t able to afford. A credit card isn’t the magical solution to getting the flat screen TV or new computer that you have always wanted. You will end up being charged lots of interest and you may be unable to keep up with the monthly repayments on your credit card. Just leave this store, think about it for a couple of days, and then make a decision. Then, if you decide to purchase it, you may be able to get low interest rates through in-house financing.
It may seem unnecessary to many people, but be sure to save receipts for the purchases that you make on your credit card. Take the time each month to be sure that the receipts match up to your credit card statement. It will help you manage your charges, as well as, help you catch unjust charges.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
All people with credit cards should get a copy of their credit report at no cost each year and look to see that everything is right. Compare your statements with any debts you may have to be sure they’re a match.
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!
Make sure to verify all charges and fees that are associated with a credit card that you are considering, instead of just focusing on the interest rates and the annual percentage rate. Look for fees like service charges, cash advance fees, and application fees.
Some people need help getting out of a jam that they have created, and others are trying to avoid the pitfalls that they know are out there. Regardless of which camp you came from, this article has shown you the best ways to use credit cards and avoid the deep debt that comes along with them.