Everyone should have one credit card simply to build good credit and learn basic money-management skills. It is important to be educated on bank cards so you make educated choices. The credit card tips that follow are meant to help consumers make smart choices when they choose to use plastic.
Don’t use cards to buy something that you cannot afford. 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.
Keep careful record of your charges to be sure that you can afford what you spend. If you don’t, you can easily forget what you’ve spent and end up in deep financial trouble.
For your credit to remain in good standing, you have to pay all your credit card bills on time. A late payment can do a number on your credit score, and can also require you to pay pricey fees. Setting up an automatic payment schedule with your credit card company or bank can save you time and money.
When shopping online, use care when paying for purchases with bank cards. Make sure to only purchase from a security encrypted site. If the site is trustworthy, your information is secure and encrypted. In addition, you should ignore any emails that ask you for your card information, because these are attempts to collect your information.
If anyone calls and asks for your card number, tell them no. Scammers often do this. Only share your credit card number with trusted businesses and with the company that owns the credit card. Never give your numbers to people who may call you on the phone. There is simply no way you can safely verify the identity of an unsolicited caller.
Never believe your offered interest rate is absolute and should remain this way. Credit card companies compete with each other for your business, and they all use a range of different rates to attract cusotmers. You can contact the band and request a lower interest rate, if you think it is too high.
If you have a spotty credit record, think about getting a secured card. These cards require a collateral, which is the balance. In essence, you are borrowing your own money and paying interest for the privilege. It isn’t the best, but it can help to repair bad credit. Just remember that you still need to ensure the company you’re dealing with is honest. These companies can offer you unsecured cards in the future, which can make your score higher.
Contact your creditor about lowering your interest rates. There may be some companies that could reduce the interest rates they charge if they know that they have a good relationship with their customers. It can save you a lot of money and asking will not cost you a cent.
Do not tell other people of the number of your credit card. Often times, people ask this information through the internet or through the phone. Do not do this if you do not know the company you’re dealing with. When receiving unsolicited requests for credit card numbers, be very cautious. Scams and frauds abound and they will be more than happy to get their hands on the numbers associated with your credit cards. Protect yourself by remaining diligent.
Do not just concentrate on the APR and the interest rates of the card; check on any and all fees and charges that are involved. Other fees like service charges and cash advance fees can quickly add up.
If you have several charge cards, try to pay at least one in full every month. Even if you have quite a bit of debt on the others, having an active card that’s paid in full each month can help better your credit.
Check your credit card statement regularly. Sign up to receive mobile alerts if they are offered by your provider. This will help you to stay informed of any irregular activity in a timely manner, allowing you to question things when necessary. Contact your bank, and possibly the police, right away if you notice suspicious activity taking place with any of your credit card accounts.
Credit cards can be beneficial if used the right way. You need to understand each card’s terms and benefits in order to make informed choices for yourself. Having a grasp of credit card basics can benefit consumers in that way, helping them to make smart credit decisions.