Knowing about credit cards and how they work is recommended. You don’t want to end up owing money or ruining your credit score by not being able to handle them. Here you will find a few ways to deal with credit cards, so continue reading for some advice on the subject.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
Be aware of any interest rates you are being charged. It is very important to understand what the interest rate is before you get the credit card. Without a clear understanding of the interest charges, your bills could rise unexpectedly. If you have to pay higher balances, you might find you cannot pay the card off every month.
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
Never use a credit card to buy things you can’t afford. Just because you desire to have a new TV, it does not mean that buying using your credit card is a good option. You will end up paying a lot of money in interest charges, and the amount you need to pay every month might be too much for you. Leave the store and return the next day if you still want to buy the product. If you still plan to buy it, the store’s in-house financing usually offers lower interest rates.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
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.
Try to reduce your interest rate. Call your credit card company, and request that this be done. Before you call, be sure you know how long you have had the credit card, your overall payment record, and your credit score. If all of these show positively on you as a good customer, then use them as leverage to get that rate lowered.
Know your credit card laws to ensure that you are protected. For example, card companies cannot increase rates retroactively. You also cannot be billed twice in one cycle. Be informed on current laws. Two major, recent legislative changes that affect credit card companies are the Fair Billing Act and the CARD ACT.
Use a credit card that offers rewards. Not every credit card company offers rewards, so you need to choose wisely. Reward points can be earned on every purchase, or for making purchases in certain categories. There are many different rewards including air miles, cash back or merchandise. Be wary though because some of these cards charge a fee.
Having outstanding balances that exceed your ability to pay may ultimately result in harm to your credit record. If your credit becomes damages it may be hard to get a job, rent an apartment, get insurance or finance a car.
Do your research prior to applying for a credit card. Certain companies charge a higher annual fee than others. Compare the rates of many different companies to make sure you get the one with the lowest fee. Also, do not forget to find out if the APR rate is fixed or variable.
As you can see, a few steps can be taken to ensure that you are correctly using your credit cards. Don’t let them scare you off because they seem too complicated or expensive. You will find that with the proper research that credit cards can be helpful to use when you are in various situations.