Credit cards are great for many reasons. They can be used, instead of cash to purchase things. They can also be used to build an individuals credit score. There are also some bad qualities that are attributed to credit cards as well, such as identity theft and debt, when they fall into the wrong hands or are used incorrectly. You can learn how to use your credit card the right way with the tips in the following article.
Make sure you have the money to pay for any charges you make on your credit cards. Big-ticket merchandise that you may have difficulties paying for should not be charged. Only charge things that you know you have the ability to pay for in the near future.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
Try your best to stay within 30 percent of the credit limit that is set on your card. Part of your credit score is made up of assessing the amount of debt that you have. By staying far under your limit, you will help your rating and make sure it does not start to dip.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
Make sure you use any credit card you obtain wisely. Put a limit on how much you spend and only buy items you know you can afford. Before you buy something with your card, be certain you can pay for it in full when you get your statement. If you keep a balance on your account, it is easy to be tempted into spending more and this will make it more difficult to repay.
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.
Credit cards are usually tied to loyalty accounts. If you use credit cards often, try to find a card with a great loyalty program. This can end up providing you with a source of extra income, if it is used wisely.
Research banking and credit laws to ensure you stay up to date with the latest changes. For example, card companies cannot increase rates retroactively. They are also never allowed to double-cycle their billing practices. Knowing these laws and others like them will protect you from unfair business practices. You should pay especially close attention to both Fair Credit Billing and the CARD Acts.
To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year.
If you are denied a credit card, find out why. It costs nothing to check the reporting agencies, after you have been denied credit by a card issuer. Recent federal laws require that issuers supply the information that creditors used to deny an applicant. Use this information to improve your score in the future.
It is an excellent idea to open one credit card account that you do not use. Tuck this credit card away for emergency expenses. Exercise discipline in this matter. Your emergency credit card should only be used in real “last resort” situations. If you ever have to use it, pay it off as quickly as possible after the emergency has passed.
Be sure that you only apply for credit cards that you know that you will need now, as well as, in the future. This is important because having too many credit cards may lead to irresponsible spending and living outside your means. Doing so may very well cause you to become buried in debt and have a hard time paying it off.
Now that you see the good and bad sides of credit cards, you can prevent the bad things from happening. Using the tips you have learned here, you can use your credit card to buy items and build your credit score without being in debt or suffering from identity theft at the hands of a crook.