Credit cards can help you to manage your finances, as long as you use them appropriately. However, it can be devastating to your financial management if you misuse them. For this reason, you may have shied away from getting a credit card in the first place. However, you don’t need to do this, you just need to learn how to use credit cards properly. Read on for some tips to help you with your credit card use.
Be safe when giving out your credit card information. If you like to order things online with it, then you have to be sure the website is secure. If you notice charges that you didn’t make, call the customer service number for the credit card company. They can help deactivate your card and make it unusable, until they mail you a new one with a new account number.
Review the specific terms of the offer. 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. Be aware of what the interest rate on your card is and how long it will last. Remember to check out any grace periods and finance charges involved, too.
When you are getting your first credit card, or any card for that matter, make sure you pay close attention to the payment schedule, interest rate, and all terms and conditions. Many people neglect to read this information, but it is definitely to your benefit if you take the time to read through it.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
It may not be in your best interest to get your first credit card the moment you become old enough to do so. Instead, wait a few months and ask questions so that you completely understand the pros and cons to a credit card. See what it is to be an adult before you jump head first into your first credit card.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
Take advantage of the freebies offered by your credit card company. Many companies have some sort of cash back or points system that is attached to the card you own. When you use these things, you can receive cash or merchandise, just for using your card. If your card does not offer an incentive like this, call your credit card company and ask if it can be added.
Don’t buy things that you can’t pay for on a credit card. Even though you really want that new flat-screen television, credit cards are not necessarily the smartest way to purchase it. If you cannot pay the charges off at the end of the month, you will pay a lot of interest and may run the risk of not being able to afford the monthly payments. Leave the store and think it over for a day prior to making your decision. If you still plan to buy it, the store’s in-house financing usually offers lower interest rates.
The key to using a credit card correctly lies in proper repayment. Every time that you don’t repay the balance on a credit card account, your bill increases. This means that a $10 purchase can quickly turn into a $20 purchase all due to interest! Learn how to pay it off every month.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
If you are searching for cards that are secured, steer clear of prepaid cards. This is because they are classified as debit cards, so they will do nothing to help your credit score improve. A lot of them charge additional fees and they are nothing more than checking accounts. Make a deposit and obtain an actual secured credit card. These report to the credit bureaus and will help you build your credit rating.
There’s no reason to fear using credit cards. Now that you know a little about using them appropriately, don’t avoid credit cards because you’re afraid you will ruin your credit. Take the advice you have learned here, and use credit cards as they were intended – to improve your financial situation.