Credit cards are a great convenience and also a way for people to keep their money earning interest in their accounts longer. Before you start to take advantage of this benefit, it is advised that you learn a few basics about the credit card industry. Here are some ways to use your charge cards wisely so that you avoid a lot of trouble down the road.
You may want to consider keeping a couple of credit card accounts open at any given time. If you can pay your bill in full each month, this number of cards will help you to improve your credit score. Keep in mind though that if you have more cards than three, this could have a negative effect on your credit score.
Read the fine print. If you have a pre-approved credit offer, or if someone claims they can assist you in getting a card, gather all the details first. Know the details about interest, like the rate and dates. Furthermore, make sure you are aware of potential fees or billing grace periods.
When you receive any credit card correspondence, whether in the form of a letter or email, take the time to read it. Charge cards companies often make changes to fees, interest rates and memberships fees associated with your credit card. Credit card companies can make these changes whenever they like and all they have to do is provide you with a written notification. If you don’t agree with their changes, it’s your decision if you want to cancel your credit card.
Don’t use an easy pin for card, or you are setting yourself up for trouble. Never use your birth date, children’s names, middle name, or anything else that could be figured out easily by someone looking to steal from you.
Never give out a credit card number over the phone if someone else initiates the request. Scammers will often use this ploy. Give out your number only if you are the one who made the call. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you. It doesn’t matter who they say they are if you don’t know the person.
Do not assume that your interest rate is concrete and unchangeable. 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.
Many experts believe that the limits on your bank cards should not be above 75% of your total monthly salary. Taking on a card, whose limit is greater than this amount, may leave you struggling to pay the bill. This is because the interest you are paying will quickly snowball out of control.
Avoid closing accounts. Doing so can actually cause damage to your overall credit score. The fewer accounts you have open, the less total credit you have available, which means you will owe more as a proportion of your credit limit.
Do not fax your credit card number to anyone. Faxes may sit in an accessible area for a lengthy period of time, giving many people the ability to see to your number. A lot of people will have access to stealing this number. That can set you up for fraudulent activity on your account, as well as all the problems that go along with that.
If you hold several cards, it makes sense to primarily use just one and repay its balance monthly. Even if there is a great deal of debt related to your other cards, your credit history will benefit from having one active card that is paid in full each month.
Once you are the owner of a secured card, the company may offer an unsecured card once you have proven yourself. Subsequently, you may start to receive offers by mail. This means it is time for you to re-evaluate your financial situation and make some good decisions about how to employ credit in the future.
If you’re thinking of doing a balance transfer, read all of the fine print first. You should especially pay attention to the terms following the introductory period. Often, interest rates will grow much higher after this early time period. Read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions before you jump at a low-rate card.
Make certain your son or daughter is ready for the responsibility before you allow them to get a credit card. It isn’t easy to admit that a child isn’t responsible enough to get a credit card, but allowing an irresponsible child to develop bad spending habits can lead to disaster.
Always follow your credit score and credit report in order to see your accounts’ health. It is a great way to see how others handle your accounts as well. Look for errors in your report. If there’s one, contact your credit card company and dispute the mistake to the right authorities.
If you believe your credit card has been stolen or lost, it is necessary to contact your card issuer right away. You may be held responsible for any charges incurred on your stolen credit card prior to you reporting it missing. Once you have alerted your issuer to the fact that your card is missing, you cannot be required to pay unauthorized charges.
Keep in mind that bank cards are not a right, they are a privilege. Your good credit is enhanced by responsible credit card use and is hurt when you use it unwisely. A person who is responsible with their credit card accounts makes the payments when due each month and tracks charges.
If you are looking to get a credit card, consider researching the larger credit companies because, more than likely, they will offer you the best terms for the card. The reason here is that the larger companies usually offer more flexible rates and better benefits. If you want the power that major bank cards can provide , you should deal with big credit card companies. Never forget that at the end of the day, your credit score and credit history is what’s on the line.
Bank cards are a great tool if used the right way. By following some basic credit rules presented in the article, you should be able to use bank cards for purchases and maintain excellent credit without going into debt.