Since credit cards burst onto the scene, people have been going broke trying to keep up with the payments. It can be hard to manage credit cards without some knowledge or helpful advice. The following advice will teach you what you need to know to use credit cards properly.
You may want to consider keeping a couple of credit card accounts open at any given time. Not only does this increase your credit ranking, but when you pay every month, you also increase your line of credit. If you have more than 3 credit cards however, that might not look right to a lender who looks as your credit report.
Learn how closing a line of credit will affect you prior to closing it. Sometimes closing a card can have a negative affect on your credit, so you should avoid doing so. Also, be sure that you keep a few cards open that are responsible for most of your history, credit wise.
Only apply for store cards with merchants you shop with often. When a retail store inserts an inquiry onto your credit in order to qualify you for a card, this is recorded onto your credit report regardless of whether you actually open up the card. Too many retail store inquiries will cause a hit to your credit score.
Take a look at the fine print. If you receive a pre-approved offer, look over the conditions and terms. Knowing the details is important. Find out the exact interest rate and the time that rate is in effect for your card. Inquire about grace periods for payments and if there are any additional fees involved.
In order to maintain and improve your credit score, it’s best to make card payments before the day they’re due. If you are late, you might have to pay high fees. Lateness also messes up your credit score. You can save a lot of trouble by setting up automatic payments.
Open and read all emails or letters in the mail about your credit card, as soon as you receive them. A credit card company, if it provides you with written notifications, can make changes to membership fees, interest rates and fees. You have the right, if you don’t like these changes, to immediately cancel the card.
Don’t start using credit cards to purchase things you aren’t able to afford. Just because a nice new TV sounds like a great idea, a credit card may be the wrong way to get one. High monthly payments, along with months or years of finance charges, can cost you dearly. Go home to mull it over for a couple of days and then reach a rational decision. If you still wish to make the purchase, check to see if in-house financing through the store offers a better interest rate than charging it to your card.
Keep a list of the “lost/stolen card” phone numbers for each of your credit card issuers along with your credit card number for reference. Make sure it is in a secure location, like a lock box that does not contain other credit cards. Should your cards ever be lost or stolen, you can use this list to promptly notify the companies that issued your credit cards and advise them of the situation.
If your credit is damaged, consider applying for a secured credit card. These cards require you to have a balance to use as collateral. You basically borrow money that you already have and pay for the privilege of doing so. Not ideal, but it may be the only way to repair your credit standing. Just remember that you still need to ensure the company you’re dealing with is honest. They might offer you better cards later which can further enhance your credit score.
Don’t lie about your income when applying for credit cards. A lot of companies won’t take a look at your income and they’ll hand out cards with bigger limits. This might end up making you charge too much, so it will be impossible to pay it back.
If you are using multiple credit cards, it is a good idea to single one out and pay it off every month. Paying in full on an active credit card will have a positive impact on your credit rating, even if you have other cards that are carrying hefty balances.
Prior to opening up a card account account, you should ensure you have enough strength to properly use one. Unfortunately, there are many people who use credit cards to spend beyond their means. These particular people do not need to own credit cards. When they open an account, they’re opening up the possibility of extreme financial hardship.
If you are transferring the balance from one card to another, at a lower introductory interest rate, make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Make certain you are clear as to what will happen once the introductory term is over. You may find that the interest rates skyrocket and fees begin to accrue when this time frame is reached. Know what you’re getting into before you sign up.
If you have to make a payment late or miss it altogether you should request lower interest rates and/or fees from the provider. If you are late with your payment, the credit companies can and will raise your rates and tack on extra fees. If you contact the company, you can probably reduces these charges.
Designate only one credit card to use for online purchases in order to minimize any damage that could occur if your information is stolen. This can at the very least limit the damage to the limit of the one card. By using multiple cards for purchases, you expose your sensitive information that much more. Stick to one card.
Again, many people get frustrated trying to understand credit cards and deal with them appropriately. Luckily, with the ideas you read here, you have all of the tricks you need to start balancing your accounts. Take the guidance in the piece to heart, and you can achieve great success when it comes to handling credit cards.