Consumer advice can be seen as a commodity when discussing credit cards. The article below discusses some of the best ways to use credit cards and avoid pitfalls. Read on to find out how to use your credit as a tool for opening financial doors, without getting into debt.
By keeping track of all your credit card purchases, this will help you from spending more money than you can actually afford. It is quite easy to lose track of what you are using your credit card for, so you should commit yourself to keeping track of all of these expenditures in either a notebook or on a spreadsheet.
Before getting a credit card, make certain that you completely understand the policies you are agreeing to. The terms include interest rate, yearly fees and payment terms. It is best to read and understand all the fine print before accepting and using a credit card.
Avoid the temptation to lend your charge cards to anyone. It could be a very good friend that is in need of one thing or another, but it is not a very good idea to lend it out. If they were to charge more to your card than you agreed to, for instance, the friendship could be damaged forever.
If you are called and asked for the number of your credit card, refuse to divulge it. This is a very common tactic by scammers. Only provide your number to businesses that are trusted and your card company only when you actually call them. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you. Credit card thieves will say anything to get you to believe their story, and they are very good at it.
Almost everyone’s been through it. These solicitations often arrive in your mailbox offering you a credit card with their company. You might be looking for a new card, but then again, you might not. When you toss this kind of mail, shred it or tear it up. While it may be tempting to just toss them in with the rest of the garbage, these solicits contain personal information, and you should take the time to protect yourself.
Have a list you keep of all your credit card accounts by number as well as the lender’s contact numbers. File this list in a safe place with other important papers. This list ensures that you can contact your creditors promptly if your wallet and cards are lost or stolen.
Call your credit company and ask them if they will lower your interest rate. In many cases, companies are willing to lower the interest rates of customers who they have a lengthy and positive relationship with. A lower interest rate can save you a fortune in the long term and asking for a rate reduction does not cost you a penny.
Do not give your card information over the phone unless you know and trust the company involved. The same goes for using credit online. If you receive an offer that is unsolicited and asks for the card number, be even more cautious. There are a lot of shady people out there and they often try to get credit information over the phone. Protect yourself by being cautious and staying diligent.
Always check all the extra fees that your credit card carries so you don’t have any surprises. Some fees that you may overlook include the annual fee, excessive late charges, cash advance fees and service charges.
Once you have closed your credit card account, be sure that you completely destroy your card. If you just toss it aside, it may end up being used fraudulently by someone else.
Close any credit accounts that you are not using anymore. Having open lines of credit that are unused increases your risk of identity theft. You might also be forced to pay annual fees on something that you do not use.
A simple way to minimize impulsive or accidental credit charges is to place your debit cards in front of your charge cards in the pockets of your wallet. When you are rushed or distracted, you may use your credit card instead of your debit card and end up with an unintended charge.
Check old credit card accounts and try closing any that aren’t in use. If you close them, that will stop anyone from making unauthorized charges with them. It is possible to close accounts that have balances, as well. You simply keep paying down the balance until the debt is repaid.
Adjust your budget to incorporate paying off credit bills in full each month. Unless you have % interest, you will get a finance charge put on your bill when it is not paid for completely. The continual accrual of these monthly finance charges creates a situation where it can take many years to pay off a balance if you only make minimum payments.
You should not necessarily pass on a debit card in place of a credit card simply because it provides you with rewards and airline points. You may be able to successfully charge everything to a particular card in order to obtain free plane tickets. However, you may also end up with high interest charges.
Use your credit cards responsibly at all times. Always ask yourself whether you really need to purchase an item before reaching for your credit card. Furthermore, always consider how long it will take you to pay off your credit card before making a purchase. When figuring out the price, take into account any interest you may incur and factor that into the overall cost of the item.
As you can probably see, it is very easy to get yourself deep in financial trouble by charging up bank cards. Carrying a balance, late payments, and big purchases can all get an uneducated credit card user into high debt. With any luck, this piece can provide the help you need to steer clear of credit card dilemmas and maintain your financial health.