Consumer advice is valuable with regard to credit cards. Read further for advice on learning how to properly use charge cards and avoid common problems as well. Many people who have bank cards do not have the knowledge needed to make wise choices. This can lead to big financial problems.
You should try to have at least two open cards or possibly three open credit accounts. This will increase your credit score over time, especially if you don’t carry a balance from month to month. However, if you have over three, a lender may think that looks bad when pulling up your personal credit bureau report.
Any fraudulent charges made using your credit should be reported immediately. Immediate action you take gives your credit card company an upper hand in catching the thief. In addition, this is the best method of ensuring you aren’t responsible for the charges. To report any unauthorized charges to your card, either call or email your credit card issuer.
By keeping track of all your credit card purchases, this will help you from spending more money than you can actually afford. If you don’t, you may forget how much money you have already spent on your card- write it down!
Try to avoid any credit card fees–late payment fees, annual fees, and exceeded limit fees. Both are high fees and going over your limit will also damage your credit score. Carefully watch that you do not exceed your credit limit.
If you have the money to do so, pay your entire balance on your credit statement monthly. In a perfect world, you shouldn’t carry a balance on your credit card, using it only for purchases that will be paid off in full monthly. Using credit cards in this way improves your credit score and prevents you from having to pay finance charges.
You should develop a budget for your credit card usage. You need a budget for the money you make; therefore, your credit should be included in it. You don’t want to get into the habit of thinking of bank cards as extra money. Set aside a budgeted amount that you are allowed to spend, and never allow yourself to put more than that on your cards. Stick with this and be sure to pay it every month.
Keep a close eye on your credit balance. Also be aware of the credit limit that applies to your account. Going over that limit may equate to greater fees than you are prepared to pay. It will take forever to pay down your balance if you continue to go over your card’s limit.
Do not use your credit card to purchase things you simply cannot afford. If you would like a new television, save up some cash for it rather than assume your credit card is the best option. Not only will you be saddled with interest, it may cause your monthly payments to become too high for you to keep up with. Leave the item in the store and think about the purchase for at least a day or two before making a final decision. If you still want to buy it, you should consider the financing offered by the store, since the interest rates are usually lower.
Never keep a written copy of your password or pin number anywhere. Make sure you know your password so you ensure that only you have access to it. If you write it down on a bill or keep it in your financial files, a thief could easily steal this information.
Always know who you are dealing with and make sure they are legitimate companies when you give out your credit card information online. You should contact whoever runs the site on the phone prior to ordering and don’t use a company that has no real address on their website.
Remember, interest rates can change quickly and are not negotiable. Credit card companies normally have several interest rates they can offer to customers. If you do not like your current rate, get in contact with your bank and request for a change.
Do not close credit accounts. It may seem like the obvious thing to do to help your credit score, but closing accounts can actually be detrimental to your credit score. When you close an account, your available credit is decreased and the ratio between it and what is owed decreases.
It is a good idea to contact credit card companies and request that they lower your interest rate. If you have been a good customer for a while, many credit card providers will be more than happy to lower the interest rate that they are charging you. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year and all it takes is a phone call.
As previously discussed, it is extremely easy to get in over your head when you utilize credit cards. Having credit cards and making expensive payments that you could not pay for may get you in a lot of trouble. Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid problems related to your credit card.