Credit cards can be a wonderful financial tool that enables us to make online purchases or buy things that we wouldn’t otherwise have the cash on hand for. Smart consumers know how to best use credit cards without getting in too deep, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that’s really easy to do with credit cards. Keep reading for some solid advice on how to best use your credit cards.
When choosing the right credit card for your needs, you need to make sure that you pay attention to the interest rates offered. If you see an introductory rate, pay close attention to how long that rate is good for. Interest rates are one of the most important things when getting a new credit card.
Read every line of text! If there’s an offer for a pre-approved credit card or if a person says they can help you get a card, get all of the details beforehand. Be aware of how much the interest rates are going to be, and how much time it will take you to pay for it. Also, find out about any fees and grace periods.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
Create a budget to which you can adhere. While your credit card limit may be ten or fifteen thousand dollars, that isn’t necessarily what you should spend. Understand the amount of money that you can pay off each month and only spend that amount so you do not incur interest fees.
Use wisdom with credit card usage. Control your spending, and only use your card to buy things that you are able to afford. Prior to purchasing an item with your credit card, be sure that you will be able to pay the charge when your statement arrives. If you carry a balance, your debt will grow and the total balance will be harder to pay off.
Credit cards are often essential for young people or couples. Even if you don’t feel comfortable holding a large amount of credit, it is important to actually have a credit account and have some activity running through it. Opening and using a credit account helps you to build your credit score.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
Many people, especially when they are younger, feel like credit cards are a type of free money. The fact is, they are exactly the opposite, paid money. Remember, every time you use your credit card, you are basically taking out a micro-loan with incredibly high interest. Never forget that you must repay this loan.
Make sure your balance is manageable. If you charge more without paying off your balance, you risk getting into major debt. Interest makes your balance grow, which can make it difficult to get it caught up. Just paying your minimum due means you will be paying off the cards for many months or years, depending on your balance.
It is very important that you save your credit card receipts. You need to compare them with your monthly statement. Companies do make mistakes and sometimes, you get charged for things you did not purchase. So make sure you promptly report any discrepancies to the company that issued the card.
Use cards that offer you a low interest rate with a balance transfer cautiously. In many cases, that rate is only available for a short period of time. When that time expires, the rate might jump to three or four times that amount. Make sure that you understand the terms and make an educated choice about choosing, and using, these cards.
As stated previously, credit cards can be quite useful, but they can also hurt us when we don’t use them right. Hopefully, this article has given you some sensible advice and useful tips on the best way to use your credit cards and manage your financial future, with as few mistakes as possible!