Because of problems that can occur with bank cards, many people are scared to get one. There’s no reason for you to be afraid of credit cards. Charge cards have the potential to be very useful when you want to make a purchase, but are reluctant to do it with cash. This article will give you plenty of excellent advice about charge cards.
Before closing any credit card, understand the impact it will have on your credit score. Many times it leads to lowering your credit score which you do not want. It is also important to keep your major credit accounts active so that you do not lose a big portion of the credit history that you have built up over the years.
Minimum payments are designed to maximize the credit card company’s profit off of your debt in the long run. Therefore, you should aim to pay more than this. Avoid costly interest fees over the long term.
Be aware of any interest rates you are being charged. Before signing up for any card, knowing the interest rate is crucial. Choosing a card with a high interest rate will cost you dearly if you carry a balance. If the interest rate is too high, you might find yourself carrying a bigger and bigger balance over each month.
Develop a realistic budget for your bank cards. The limit placed on your card is not a goal to be reached, so you don’t need to spend it to the max. Understand the amount you can realistically afford each month so that you will not incur interest charges.
Never use a credit card to buy things you can’t afford. For example, a credit card should not be used to purchase a luxury item you want that you cannot afford. You will wind up paying huge amounts of interest; additionally, the payments each month could be more than you can afford. Walk out of the store, think about it for a few days, and then arrive at a final decision. If you are dead set on buying the item, ask the store if they can beat your credit card’s interest rate.
Don’t write down your password or pin number. The safest place for this information is in your memory, where nobody else can access it. Writing down your PIN, especially if you store it with your card, can put your account in jeopardy if the information falls into the wrong hands.
Make sure you are being careful when you use a credit card online. Make sure to only purchase from a security encrypted site. This will keep your information away from prying eyes. Never give your personal information to a website that sends you unsolicited email.
Never give your credit card information to anyone who calls or emails you. Scammers commonly use this method for getting your number. Only give your number out to trusted businesses and your credit card company when you call them. Never provide your numbers to people who make the call to you. No matter who they claim to be, you do not know who they are.
Avoid prepaid cards at all costs when looking for cards. These are actually debit cards, and they do not report to the major credit bureaus. These cards often have hidden fees, and act more like a checking account than a credit card. Lay down a deposit, and get a real secured credit card that will report to the bureaus and help improve your credit score.
Don’t use your credit card for more than you can pay off. If you can’t make your payments, you risk damaging your credit score. Should this occur, you will have great difficulty when you apply for an apartment, insurance or anything else, including quite possibly a job.
Only carry around a credit card that you need daily. If you have more than two or three cards, consider which ones get the most usage. As a general rule, these will be the charge and gas cards you use every day. Only place those in your wallet, and leave the rest safe and secure at home.
To make sure you don’t use them too much, place bank cards in back of debit cards inside wallets. This way, if you are in a rush and not paying attention, you are more likely to slide out your debit card instead of charging something you did not intend to.
Consider sticking with a large bank that issues cards, as they sometimes offer the best options. More perks usually come with these cards, and the company often has well-defined business practices. When choosing a major credit card, you want a major company. The bottom line is that you must protect your credit report by choosing the right credit card.
Don’t use rewards cards exclusively and forget about your debit card. You may be able to successfully charge everything to a particular card in order to obtain free plane tickets. However, the interest expense you rack up will rival the cost of many flights.
By following the advice in this article, you should be better prepared to use your credit card smartly. Credit cards are useful when used properly, so it is unnecessary to fear them. Just remember the tips you have learned here and your financial situation will be fine.