When it comes to having a credit card, the same advice always applies: shop around before selecting a card, pay that card on time, and use it with care. In addition to these simple rules, there are other things that you can do, as well. This article contains some simple tips that can help individuals everywhere, better manage their credit cards.
Consumers should shop around for credit cards before settling on one. Many different credit cards are available, each offering a different interest rate, annual fee, and some, even offering bonus features. By shopping around, an individual can find one that best meets their needs. They can also get the best deal when it comes to using their credit card.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Whenever possible, pay off the balance of your credit card every month. In general, it's best to use credit cards as a pass-through, and pay them before the next billing cycle starts, instead of as a high-interest loan. Avoid finance charges by paying the balance in full and improve your credit rating at the same time.
Don't pay any fees upfront when you are getting a credit card. The legitimate card issuers will not ask for any money up front, unless you're getting a secured credit card. When you are applying for a secured card, be sure to find out how the deposit is going to be used.
A great way to keep your revolving credit card payments manageable is to shop around for the most advantageous rates. By seeking low interest offers for new cards or negotiating lower rates with your existing card providers, you have the ability to realize substantial savings, each and every year.
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.
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.
If you can't get a credit card because of a spotty credit record, then take heart. There are still some options that may be quite workable for you. A secured credit card is much easier to get and may help you rebuild your credit record very effectively. With a secured card, you deposit a set amount into a savings account with a bank or lending institution - often about $500. That amount becomes your collateral for the account, which makes the bank willing to work with you. You use the card as a normal credit card, keeping expenses under that limit. As you pay your monthly bills responsibly, the bank may decide to raise your limit and eventually convert the account to a traditional credit card.
If you do a lot of traveling, use one card for all of your travel expenses. If it is for work, this allows you to easily keep track of deductible expenses, and if it is for personal use, you can quickly add up points towards airline travel, hotel stays or even restaurant bills.
If you aren't satisfied with you current interest rates, ask your creditor to lower them. You may need to look for a card with a better rate if your bank won't cooperate with your request. After you find it, transfer your debt to the new card.
Every time you use a credit card, think about the extra expense that it will incur if you don't pay it off immediately. Remember, the price of an item can quickly double if you use credit without paying for it quickly. If you keep this in mind, you are more likely to pay off your credit quickly.
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.
If you get into trouble, and cannot pay your credit card bill on time, the last thing you want to do is to just ignore it. Call your credit card company immediately, and explain the issue to them. They may be able to help put you on a repayment plan, delay your due date, or work with you in ways that won't be as damaging to your credit.
As was stated in the beginning of this article, all credit card users should pay attention to the options when choosing a card, they should strive to pay their card in a timely manner, and they should use it with care. The importance of these tips, as well as several others, have been discussed in this article. Apply them to your own credit card habits to improve your financial situation.