In many bad financial situations, a credit card can act as a lifesaver. Are you lacking in cash, but need to make a purchase? There is no problem! Just use the credit card and you’re fine. Are you trying to establish a better credit score? A credit card makes that much easier. Keep reading for more useful ways to use a credit card.
Only if you regularly shop at a certain store should you think about applying for a store credit card. When retail stores put in an inquiry on your credit to qualify you for a card, it gets recorded on your credit report whether you open the card or not. If you’re declined by a few retail chains, for example, you can actually hurt your credit rating in the long term.
If you receive a credit card offer in the mail, make sure you read all the information carefully before accepting. If there’s an offer for a pre-approved credit card or if a person says they can help you get a card, get all of the details beforehand. Be aware of how much the interest rates are going to be, and how much time it will take you to pay for it. Additionally, you may wish to know about their fees and any applicable grace periods.
Always adhere to a budget when it comes to using bank cards. Your income is already budgeted, so make sure you make an allowance for credit card payments within this. A credit card’s available balance should not be considered extra money. Have a certain amount set aside that you are willing to spend on your card each month. Ideally, you want this to be an amount that you can pay in full every month.
Do not lend out charge cards under any circumstance. Even if you’re talking about a relative, you can never trust someone enough to deal with the potential consequences. If they were to charge more to your card than you agreed to, for instance, the friendship could be damaged forever.
Be careful when you use a credit card on the Internet. Don’t input any credit card details unless you are certain that the site is completely secure. You can set your browser to notify the security settings for each website you visit. Don’t respond to emails that want your credit card information because these are just trying to steal from you usually.
Avoid closing your credit card accounts. Although you may think this will improve your credit, it could actually hurt your credit score. This is because you are actually subtracting from the total amount of credit you have, which then lowers the ratio between that and what you owe.
Try to avoid paying for grocery and restaurant bills on a credit card because they sometimes take a long time to show up on your statement and you will underestimate your available balance. This can cause you to spend more than you would like to because your credit card balance will appear lower than the amount you are actually responsible for.
Make sure that you are aware of all the recent credit card law changes. For example, no credit card company can impose a retroactive rate increase on you. They are not allowed to do any double-cycle billing. Read up on the laws. There have been two major changes in the laws. You should read up on them to familiarize yourself.
If you are carrying a high balance on your credit card, do all you can to lower it. Having high balances on various cards can make it difficult to get credit for other purposes. If this happens then it can make it hard to rent an apartment, finance a car, get insurance or even in some cases, get a job.
Avoid giving out your credit card information by fax or phone. A fax may sit in a person’s inbox for a while which exposes your card number to anyone in the office. Anybody could get your information. It exposes you to fraud and all of its associated problems.
Stay away from cards that have annual fees. People with high credit scores are more likely to be offered cards with no annual fees. Annual fees can make perks of a card worthless. Think about this carefully and do the calculations. These fees are usually not heralded by credit card companies; they can usually be read in the small print of the terms and conditions. Get out your reading glasses. Look at the small print to determine if the fees of using the card outweigh all of the benefits. Usually, they don’t.
Make sure that you keep a constant eye on all of the transactions on your credit card bills. One could register for mobile alerts if they’re offered. This gives you the opportunity to report any irregular activity as soon as possible after it occurs. Any suspicious activity on your account should be reported to your bank, as well as to the police if necessary.
Credit is used for a variety of things. Whether you are just paying for your gas or building a solid credit history, your credit card can be used in many different ways. Take this advice to heart as you utilize your card.