Credit cards can help people build up their good credit and really manage their finances efficiently. Being aware of how credit cards work is important and helps people to learn to make good financial choices. Below, you will find some great tips on using credit cards and using them wisely.
Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible.
Do not accept the first credit card offer that you receive, regardless of how good it sounds. While you may be tempted to jump on an offer, you do not want to take any chances that you will end up signing up for a card and then, seeing a better deal shortly after from another company.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
Before you decide on a new credit card, be careful to read the fine print. Credit card companies have been in business for many years now, and know of ways to make more money at your expense. Be sure to read the contract in full, before signing to be sure that you are not agreeing to something that will harm you in the future.
Always read emails or letters from your credit card company immediately. Written notice is all that is required of credit card companies before they change your fees or interest rates. If you don’t agree with their changes, it’s your decision if you want to cancel your credit card.
Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.
Do not leave any blank spaces when you are signing a receipt in a retail store. Mark up the line for the tip, so that no one can later put an amount on it. When your credit card statements arrive, take the time to ensure all charges are correct.
If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!
Most analysts state that a credit limit should be no greater than 75% of a monthly salary. If your level of debt exceeds your monthly salary, then you need to focus your efforts on 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.
Before you pick a credit card be sure that it accepted at most businesses in your area. There are only a few credit card companies that are accepted nationwide, so be sure you know which ones these are if you plan to purchase things around the country. Also, if you plan to travel abroad, be sure you have a card that is accepted where you might travel as well.
Never give anyone credit card numbers on the Internet or on the phone unless you know and trust the company. Be extra careful if you receive an unsolicited offer for which credit card information is requested. There are numerous scams around that all wish to obtain your credit card information. Be relentless in protecting yourself.
Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
Reading the above text, you can glean various aspects of credit and begin to understand how to use a credit card to your full benefit. You need to understand each card’s terms and benefits in order to make informed choices for yourself. Once you understand the fundamentals of a credit card, then you can make better informed decisions.