Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that it is okay to buy something, if you just put it on a credit card. Credit cards have lead us to have monumental amounts of personal debt, the likes of which have rarely been seen before. Get yourself out of this way of thinking by reading this article and seeing how credit cards affect you.
Whenever you are considering a new credit card, you should always avoid applying for credit cards that have high interest rates. While interest rates compounded annually may not seem all that much, it is important to note that this interest can add up, and add up fast. Make sure you get a card with reasonable interest rates.
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.
If you pay your credit card bill with a check each month, make sure you send that check out as soon as you get your bill so that you avoid any finance charges or late payment fees. This is good practice and will help you create a good payment history too.
If you cannot pay your entire credit card bill each month, you should definitely keep your available credit limit above 50% after each billing cycle. Having a good credit to debt ratio is an important part of your credit score. Make sure that your credit card is not constantly near its limit.
Review the statements you receive from the credit card company very carefully. Look for inaccuracies associated to the charges you make, as well as any charges you didn’t make. Report any discrepancies to the credit card company right away. That can make sure you don’t pay too much, and it can also help your credit score stay where it is as well.
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.
If you have several credit cards, try to pay at least one in full every month. Your other cards may have high debt, but paying off one select card in full each month helps to build stronger credit.
If you have a credit card that you don’t use, it’s best to close the account. Keeping them open exposes you to fraudulent activity. You may be charged yearly fees that would simply be a waste.
To avoid accidentally racking up unintended credit charges, put your credit cards behind your debit cards in your wallet. By doing this, you will be more likely to choose your debit card over your credit card, even if you are in a rush.
Pay the full balance on your credit card if you can. Unless you have a credit card with 0% A.P.R., you will have a charge for financing added to your outstanding balance. To avoid this charge, pay the due amount by the date indicated on the bill. When only paying the minimums, you can increase the time to repay the debt by months, if not years, depending on the limits and compounding finance charges.
Keep in mind that credit cards are a privilege, not a right! When you make good choices it will help your credit, but it will hurt you if you make bad ones. Responsible use of credit cards involves paying the balance in full each month and making sure all charges are legitimate.
Have one credit card set aside as the one that you use for online purchases. By doing this, your finances are better protected if the security of your computer is ever compromised. Using more than on credit card to purchase items online increases your risk, so limiting the financial information that’s on your computer is safest.
Always bring along two different credit cards when you travel, especially if you are going overseas. Having cards from two separate banks gives you more options. If you aren’t able to use one card, having another one that the same bank issued won’t really help much. With two completely different cards, you have a much better chance of being able to use a credit card when you need it.
Knowing the impact that credit cards really have on your life, is a good first step towards using them more wisely in the future. Often times, they are a necessary building block for good credit. However, they are overused and often, misunderstood. This article has attempted to clear up some of those confusing ideas and set the record straight.