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.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
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.
You should develop a budget for your credit card usage. It is important to budget your income, and it is equally important to budget your credit card spending habits. It is unwise to consider credit as being some additional, unrelated source of funds. Set aside a particular amount you can safely charge to your card every month. Never go above that amount and make sure to pay it in full every month.
If you have a credit card with high interest you should consider transferring the balance. Many credit card companies offer special rates, including 0% interest, when you transfer your balance to their credit card. Do the math to figure out if this is beneficial to you before you make the decision to transfer balances.
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.
If you have not yet established your own credit history, a co-signer can help you get your first credit card. This can be anyone who trusts you, like a relative or close friend. They have to understand that they will sign a document stating that if you fail to pay your credit card, they will be responsible for the balance. This is a good way to get a credit card and how you could build your credit.
Before you ever use a new credit card, it is important to carefully read through all of the terms of the credit card agreement. The first time you use your card is often considered to denote acceptance of the agreement terms. You should particularly go over the fine print, even though it may be difficult to read.
Be vigilant when looking over any conditions and terms. Companies often come out with new terms and conditions, even more frequently than in the past. Oftentimes, the things that will affect you the most are written in legal language that can be difficult to translate. Take some time to read through the terms well, because you don’t want to miss important information such as rate changes.
It is important to always review the charges, and credits that have posted to your credit card account. Whether you choose to verify your account activity online, by reading paper statements, or making certain that all charges and payments are reflected accurately, you can avoid costly errors or unnecessary battles with the card issuer.
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.
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.
When it comes to credit cards, be sure that you are weary of any sort of free offers. This is important, because a lot of times, the freebies that you are offered can be thought of as traps that may lure you in and end up costing you a lot of money in the future.
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!