Credit cards are a great way to build a solid personal credit history, but they can also cause significant turmoil and heartache when used unwisely. Knowledge is key, in terms of building a smart financial strategy that incorporates credit cards. Continue reading, in order to understand how best to utilize credit cards and secure financial well-being for the long term.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
In order to maintain a solid credit score, always pay your balances by the due date. Paying late will hurt your score and incur extra fees. Avoid this problem by setting up automatic payments to come out of your bank account on the due date or earlier.
Odds are you’re well aware that late fees can be killer, but keep in mind that fees for going over your limit can also be quite harsh. The fees are both high, and not only do they cost your wallet, but they also affect your credit score negatively. Be sure to never pass your credit limit.
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.
Watch your balance carefully. Make sure that you know of any credit limits that have been imposed by your creditor. If you do happen to go over your credit limit, the creditor will impose fees. It is going to take a longer time to pay off the balance when you’re always going over the limit.
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.
In order to keep a good credit rating, be sure to pay your bills on time. Avoid interest charges by picking a card that has a grace period. Then you can pay the entire balance that is due each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, pick a card that has the lowest interest rate available.
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.
It may seem unnecessary to many people, but be sure to save receipts for the purchases that you make on your credit card. Take the time each month to be sure that the receipts match up to your credit card statement. It will help you manage your charges, as well as, help you catch unjust charges.
There are many different kinds of credit cards that each come with their own pros and cons. Before you settle on a bank or specific credit card to use, be sure to understand all of the fine print and hidden fees related to the different credit cards you have available to you.
If you find that you cannot pay your credit card balance in full, slow down on how often you use it. Though it’s a problem to get on the wrong track when it comes to your credit cards, the problem will only become worse if you allow it to. Try to stop using your cards for awhile, or at least slow down, so you can avoid owing thousands and falling into financial hardship.
Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
It is very important that you save your credit card receipts. You need to compare them with your monthly statement. Companies do make mistakes and sometimes, you get charged for things you did not purchase. So make sure you promptly report any discrepancies to the company that issued the card.
Do not carry all your credit cards on you all the time. Only the ones that you may need daily. Even if you have multiple cards, it is wise to have only the ones you use most often. You should have access to a charge card you use daily and a card that is used for gas. Carry these cards, while leaving the rest at home.
If you have more than one credit card, leave one at home always. Use it perhaps for online purchases made from home, but do not take it out with you. This way, if you do wind up slipping up and running up the cards in your wallet, you still have an available credit card to use for emergencies.
If your credit card is charging you a high rate of interest on your balance, consider transferring it to a lower interest rate card. This can save you a lot while you are working to pay down that balance. The key is to not charge any more on the old card once you have transferred your balance, or you will end up in a worse financial situation.
Just about everyone has some experience with credit cards, though not every experience is positive. In order to ensure that you are using credit cards in a financially strategic manner, education is critical. Use the ideas and concepts in this piece to make certain that your financial future is bright.