Many people become completely terrified when they hear the word credit. If you are one of these people, that means you need to expose yourself to a better financial education. Credit is not something to fear, rather, it is something that you should use in a responsible manner.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Don’t pay any fees upfront when you are getting a credit card. The legitimate card issuers will not ask for any money up front, unless you’re getting a secured credit card. When you are applying for a secured card, be sure to find out how the deposit is going to be used.
Understand fully the terms and conditions of a credit card before you apply for it. The terms include interest rate, yearly fees and payment terms. Pay very close attention to the terms to make sure you completely understand the card policy.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
Look into whether a balance transfer will benefit you. Yes, balance transfers can be very tempting. The rates and deferred interest often offered by credit card companies are typically substantial. But if it is a large sum of money you are considering transferring, then the high interest rate normally tacked onto the back end of the transfer may mean that you actually pay more over time than if you had kept your balance where it was. Do the math before jumping in.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
It is not uncommon for people to avoid acquiring credit cards because they want to give the impression that they are debt-free. It is important, though, to have at least a single card in order to build a credit history. Utilize it and be sure to make your monthly payment. If you have no credit, your score is lower and lenders will not know whether you can manage credit.
Don’t give credit card numbers out, online or over the telephone, without knowing that the company you’re dealing with is trustworthy. Be extremely suspicious if you receive an unsolicited offer which requests credit information. There’s a lot of scams where people try and get your card number. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and remain diligent.
Don’t ever fax other people a credit card number. Not all fax machines are located in secure locations, so you have no idea who could read the fax and note down your credit card details. If any of those people is a thief, you are in trouble. Your credit card could then be used to fund criminal activity or to make unauthorized purchases by the theft.
Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
Transferring a credit card balance from a high interest credit card to a card where the rate is less, can save you money every month. Credit card companies offer special introductory rates to attract new business to their credit cards. If you take advantage of one of these offers, make sure that you understand the amount of time that the introductory rate offer lasts.
After reading this article, you should feel more comfortable when it comes to credit questions. By using each of the tips you have read here, you will be able to come to a better understanding of exactly how credit works, as well as, all the advantages and disadvantages it can bring to your life.