Credit cards can be the key to unlocking the life you’ve dreamed of. Having one opens doors and allows for increased financial freedom. Though this is all true, it does not discount the fact that consumers need to make wise spending decisions and use their cards with a high level of diligence. The article below covers some of the basic credit information to help consumers achieve that balance.
Always pay your bills well before the due date, as this is a big part of maintaining your high credit score. Paying late will hurt your score and incur extra fees. Set up a payment schedule that is automatic so that you can save some time as well as put some money back into your pockets.
Be aware of the rate of interest you are provided. It is crucial that you know the rate of interest prior to getting a credit card. When you don’t know this, you could possibly have a much higher rate than you anticipated. You may find it very hard to pay off your debt each month when high interest charges are added to your balance.
If you do not have credit and want a credit card, consider getting a co-signer. Co-signers can be siblings, parents, close friends, or anyone with established credit. It’s important to know that being a co-signer means that person is liable for the credit card bill in full if you don’t pay it. This works great for getting a first credit card that you can use for building credit.
Consider the different loyalty programs offered by different companies. As long as you are in the habit of paying with a credit card, be sure to find a program which will reward you for using it. If used correctly, this can supply you with a bit of extra income.
If you cannot afford something, don’t put it on a credit card. Just because your credit limit is high enough to cover that flat-screen television you eyed at the store, does not mean it is within your budget. You will pay loads of interest, and the monthly payments may be out of your reach. Leave before buying anything, think it through and then return if you want to buy it. If you still want the item, see if the store offers in house financing with better rates.
When you buy with a credit card on the Internet, keep copies of your receipt. Keep the receipt until your bill comes in and verify all charges. If they did not, contact the company and file a dispute immediately. This smart technique will serve you well and ensure that you never get overcharged for your purchases.
Be careful when you choose to use your credit card for payments online. Ensure the site is secure before entering any credit card information online. A secure site ensures your card information is safe. Also never respond to an email that asks you for a credit card number as this is likely fraudulent.
It is possible that your interest rate can be reduced, so do not think that you are stuck with the rate you were given. Card companies use different interest rates for competition purposes. Make a request to your bank to change your current interest rate if you don’t like it.
Track exactly how much you spend each month via your credit card. Remember that incidental and impulse purchases rack up quickly. If you aren’t tracking your credit card balance, you may be surprised when you get your statement at the months end.
To protect your credit, never use a fax to send your credit card information. Incoming faxes can sit in a holding bin forever, leaving your credit card data vulnerable to anybody who happens to walk by. Even a small amount of information can give other people the ability to use your card. This leaves you wide open to fraudulent charges.
Make sure a note that indicates your purchases is kept in an area in your home where it can be seen. By having it in a visible area, you will always know how much you are charging to the card. A lot of times, we allow credit card spending to get beyond our control by not monitoring it.
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. Have a true understanding of what occurs after the introductory period is complete. Many times these are cards that carry a high interest rate after the initial introductory period. Know what you are getting into prior to signing on the bottom line.
It is a great idea to let your credit card issuer know when you’re using the card in an unusual way. If you are traveling out of the country or buying something with a big price tag, it is a good idea to let your credit card company know ahead of time. This makes it less likely your credit card company will suspect identity theft and suspend your account.
Keep in mind that credit cards are not a right, they are a privilege. When you make good choices it will help your credit, but it will hurt you if you make bad ones. Responsible use of credit cards involves paying the balance in full each month and making sure all charges are legitimate.
Always pay your credit cards bills on their due date each month. One payment missed can raise interest rates or fees incurred. A late or missed payment will be reported to credit bureaus and could lower your credit score. Consider setting your accounts to auto-pay online so that you never miss a payment.
Credit cards can open up a new lifestyle to many people, and offer increased spending capacity and privileges. When used properly, they are great assets; but bear in mind that improper use can also ruin a consumer’s financial life. This article provides lots of advice for customers to make proper decisions so they avoid credit pitfalls.