No one wants to lose out on the big things in life like buying a car or a house, because they misused their credit cards earlier on in life. This article has lots of ways to avoid big mistakes regarding credit cards, and also ways you can start to get out of a jam, if you’ve already created one.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
Make sure that you make your payments on time when you have a credit card. The extra fees are where the credit card companies get you. It is very important to make sure you pay on time to avoid those costly fees. This will also reflect positively on your credit report.
Remember that when you are dealing with a credit card company, their minimum payment structure is designed to keep you paying compounding interest for years and years to come. Always try to make payments larger than the stated minimum. Paying off your balance faster helps you avoid expensive finance charges over the life of your debt.
Keep a watchful eye on your balance. Know what your limit is and how much you’re spending, you don’t want any surprises. If you do happen to go over your credit limit, the creditor will impose fees. If fees are assessed, it will take a longer period of time to pay off the balance.
If you have a credit card account and do not want it to be shut down, make sure to use it. Credit card companies are closing credit card accounts for non-usage at an increasing rate. This is because they view those accounts to be lacking in profit, and therefore, not worth retaining. If you don’t want your account to be closed, use it for small purchases, at least once every three months.
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.
If you don’t have a secure mailbox, don’t order credit cards by mail. Credit card thieves have stated that they steal cards out of unlocked mailboxes.
It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.
Make your credit card payments on time and in full, each and every month. Most credit card companies will charge an expensive late fee if you are even a day late. If you pay your bill 30 days late or more, creditors report this late payment to the credit bureaus.
When you receive a replacement credit card in the mail, cut up your old one, and throw it away immediately. This can prevent your old card from becoming lost, or stolen, allowing someone else to get hold of your credit card number, and use it in a fraudulent way.
Keep the total number of credit cards you use to an absolute minimum. Carrying balances on multiple credit cards can complicate your life needlessly. Shift your debt onto the card with the lowest interest. You will be able to keep better track of your debts and pay them off faster if you stick with a single credit card.
If you have gotten in over your head with credit, and have no idea how you will pay back your debt, don’t give up just yet. Many companies now have hardship programs which you can enter, that will lower your interest, set you up on a payment plan you can afford, and save you the damage of bankruptcy or litigation.
Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards.
Don’t let your past issues with credit cards slow you down in the future. There are many things you can do right now, to start digging yourself out of that hole. If you’ve managed to stay out of it up to this point, then the advice you read here can keep you on the right track.