Anyone who has ever had a credit card, knows that they can be a mix of good and bad elements. Though they provide financial flexibility when needed, they can also create difficult financial burdens, if used improperly. Consider the advice in this article before you make another single charge and you will gain a whole new perspective on the potential that these tools offer.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
Keep an eye on your credit cards even if you don’t use them very often. If your identity is stolen, and you do not regularly monitor your credit card balances, you may not be aware of this. Check your balances at least once a month. If you see any unauthorized uses, report them to your card issuer immediately.
Do not get credit cards the minute that you are old enough to get them. It takes a couple of months of learning before you can fully understand the responsibilities involved in owning credit cards. Learn how to be a responsible adult before you apply for your first card.
Don’t buy things that you can’t pay for on a credit card. The fact that you desire a new television is not sufficient justification for charging it on a credit card. High monthly payments, along with months or years of finance charges, can cost you dearly. Slow down and think things over before deciding whether to buy an expensive item on credit. If you still want to buy it, you should consider the financing offered by the store, since the interest rates are usually lower.
Never use a public computer to make online purchases with your credit card. Sometimes, your information gets stored on a public computer like the ones you find in libraries. Putting your credit information on these computers is just asking for trouble. Only use your own computer to buy things online.
If you are going to make purchases over the Internet you need to make all of them with the same credit card. You do not want to use all of your cards to make online purchases because that will increase the chances of you becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Most analysts state that a credit limit should be no greater than 75% of a monthly salary. If the balance you are carrying is greater than one month’s earnings, begin paying it down right away. Interest can easily grow to very large amounts that are difficult to pay off. So, pay off the accounts with the higher limits to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Know the credit card laws that have been enacted in recent years. Retroactive rate increases are illegal, for example. Also, double cycle billing is prohibited. Read up on the laws. Check out the CARD Act, as well as a Billing Act called Fair Credit for more information.
Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.
If your credit score is not low, try to find a credit card that does not charge many origination fees, especially a costly annual fee. There are plenty of credit cards out there that do not charge an annual fee. Find one that you can get started with, in a credit relationship that you feel comfortable with the fee.
Don’t send a credit card number through fax to anyone. A fax may be left there for a long time and your information could be stolen by anyone. A lot of people will have access to stealing this number. This exposes you to credit card fraud and various other issues.
Credit cards have the ability to provide great convenience, but also bring with them, a significant degree of risk for undisciplined users. The critical part of wise credit card use is a thorough understanding of how providers of these financial tools, operate. Review the ideas in this piece carefully, and you will be equipped to take the world of personal finance by storm.