One of the most useful forms of payment available is the credit card. A credit card can get you out of some pretty sticky situations, but it can also get you into some, as well, if not used correctly. Learn how to avoid the bad situations with the following tips.
Try to keep at least two, but not more than three, credit lines open simultaneously. You will improve your credit score. Paying off all of your cards monthly helps even more. However, opening too many is a mistake and it can hurt your credit score.
In order to maintain and improve your credit score, it’s best to make card payments before the day they’re due. Your credit score can suffer if your payments are late, and hefty fees are frequently imposed. If you set up an auto-pay schedule with your bank or card lender, you will save yourself money and time.
Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much!
Emergency, business or travel purposes, is all that a credit card should really be used for. You want to keep credit open for the times when you need it most, not when purchasing luxury items. You never know when an emergency will crop up, so it is best that you are prepared.
Be careful when using credit cards. Do not overspend and only buy things that you can comfortably afford. Before committing to a purchase on your card, ask yourself if you can pay the charges off when you get your statement, or will you be paying for a long time to come? If you hold onto your balance, your debt will keep increasing, which will make it much more difficult for you to get everything paid off.
If you are about to start a search for a new credit card, be sure to check your credit record first. Make sure your credit report accurately reflects your debts and obligations. Contact the credit reporting agency to remove old or inaccurate information. A little time spent upfront will net you the best credit limit and lowest interest rates that you may be eligible for.
If you are having trouble with overspending on your credit card, there are several ways to save it only for emergencies. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the card with a trusted friend. They will only give you the card, if you can convince them you really need it.
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.
Make sure you are consistently using your card. You do not have to use it frequently, but you should at least be using it once a month. While the goal is to keep the balance low, it only helps your credit report if you keep the balance low, while using it consistently at the same time.
Keep track of what you are purchasing with your card, much like you would keep a checkbook register of the checks that you write. It is far too easy to spend spend spend, and not realize just how much you have racked up over a short period of time.
An important tip when it comes to smart credit card usage is, resisting the urge to use cards for cash advances. By refusing to access credit card funds at ATMs, you will be able to avoid the frequently exorbitant interest rates, and fees credit card companies often charge for such services.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
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.
As stated before in the introduction above, credit cards are a useful payment option. They can be used to alleviate financial situations, but under the wrong circumstances, they can cause financial situations, as well. With the tips from the above article, you should be able to avoid the bad situations and use your credit card wisely.