Countless individuals have used credit cards to live the lifestyles they covet. Having a credit card provides increased financial freedom. With that in mind, it is crucial to select a card that is right for you and to use it responsibly. This article is a great place to start learning about credit card options and how to make educated credit decisions.
Make sure you can afford everything you buy with a credit card. While it’s fine to use your card to purchase an item you can pay for later, it is not a good idea to purchase something you will have trouble paying down the line.
If you see any suspicious charges to your credit card, call your credit card company right away. By doing this, you can help your credit card company catch the thief who is making these unauthorized charges. Additionally, you will avoid being responsible for the charges themselves. If you suspect fraudulent charges, immediately notify the company your credit card is through.
Read every line of text! Make sure you understand what you are getting involved in, even if it is a pre-approved card or a company offering help with getting a card. Understand the interest rate you will receive, and how long it will be in effect. Remember to check out any grace periods and finance charges involved, too.
Minimum payments are computed to extend the length of time it takes to pay off your credit card balance. Every dollar over your minimum payment goes to pay off your balance, so always pay a higher amount than the credit card company asks you to pay. Don’t incur expensive interest costs over time.
Understand what your interest rate will be. It is extremely important before you sign on to getting that credit card that you must know the interest rate. You may end up paying a lot more than you planned on if you are unaware of what you are being charged. You might not have the ability to pay your debts every month if the charges are too high.
If you have not yet established your own credit history, a co-signer can help you get your first credit card. Co-signers can be friends, relatives or anyone with a solid credit history of their own. Be aware that they will be responsible for your balance if you fail to pay it. Doing so is a good way to start building credit.
It may be unwise to obtain credit cards immediately upon reaching the age of eligibility. Though it is a common occurrence, it is best to spend time learning about the inner workings of the credit industry before you wade in. See what it is to be an adult before you jump head first into your first credit card.
Don’t use passwords and pins for your cards that can be simply figured out by someone else. It can be a huge mistake if it’s something like your birthday, middle name, or child’s name since anyone can obtain this information.
As you fill out a credit card receipt, make sure to put something in every space. Always strike out the tip line in order to prevent others from filling in an amount of their choosing. Always verify the fact that your purchases agree with what you statement says.
Many experts suggest that your credit limit on a given card should never exceed three-quarters of your monthly income. If your limit is higher than this, try to pay it off quickly. This becomes critical because the interest charges will continue to push your balances higher and higher.
You can request a free annual credit report to ensure all the information on it is accurate. Check to see if your statements match your credit reports.
Educate yourself on recent laws affecting consumers using credit cards. Retroactive rate increases are illegal, for example. They also cannot bill using a double-cycle system. Educate yourself about credit card laws. Two major, recent legislative changes that affect credit card companies are the Fair Billing Act and the CARD ACT.
Make sure to look over credit card statements very carefully. Make sure that the charges you made are accurate, and be on the lookout for questionable charges. Report any inaccuracies to your credit card company immediately. This way, you will be paying the correct amount, and your credit score won’t be unduly affected.
Never give out your card number over the phone unless you trust the company and you initiated the call. When someone calls you, be very wary of giving out your credit card number. You can’t be sure they are who they say they are. There are many dishonest people in the world who want your information. Be relentless in protecting yourself.
If you carry balances on multiple cards, it helps to choose one to pay off each month. Even if you are carrying significant debt on other cards, maintaining an active card that you pay in full every month will help you build a better credit history.
Only carry around the cards you need every day. Although you may have several cards, think of which cards you will need to carry. Those are usually the gas card and the daily charge card. Keep those only in your wallet or purse, and hide the rest in a secure location at your house.
Any credit cards that you have that you do not use, should be closed. The more accounts that you have open, the higher the chances of your identity being stolen. You could also be charged annual fees for keeping a credit card account open that you no longer need or use.
There are many benefits to having a credit card, including increasing the amount that can be spent and changing a consumer’s overall life. If used properly, they are great to have. On the other hand, when used without care, a consumer could end up with bad credit problems. Use the advice from the article above to make credit card decisions wisely and enhance your life.