With credit cards, come high interest rates and the danger or spending too much. However, when used properly, credit cards provide many benefits, such as financial peace of mind, while also offering the chance to earn rewards and perks. Read on to learn how you can use credit cards in a positive manner.
Practice sound financial management by only charging purchases that you know you will be able to pay off. Credit cards can be a quick and dangerous way to rack up large amounts of debt that you may not be able to pay off. Don’t use them to live off of, if you are unable to come up with the funds to do so.
Outweigh the benefits of having a credit card against the costs of using it before making purchases. In particular, it is crucial to look for fees and raters that occur after introductory periods. Read each word in the fine print so that you completely understand their policy.
Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.
If you have a credit card account and do not want it to be shut down, make sure to use it. Credit card companies are closing credit card accounts for non-usage at an increasing rate. This is because they view those accounts to be lacking in profit, and therefore, not worth retaining. If you don’t want your account to be closed, use it for small purchases, at least once every three months.
Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
Make sure your balance is manageable. If you charge more without paying off your balance, you risk getting into major debt. Interest makes your balance grow, which can make it difficult to get it caught up. Just paying your minimum due means you will be paying off the cards for many months or years, depending on your balance.
Before you pick a credit card be sure that it accepted at most businesses in your area. There are only a few credit card companies that are accepted nationwide, so be sure you know which ones these are if you plan to purchase things around the country. Also, if you plan to travel abroad, be sure you have a card that is accepted where you might travel as well.
Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.
Beyond knowing the interest rate and APR, it is important to also look into any other hidden fees that you may be charged. You may find application fees, fees for cash advances or service charges that nullify any benefits the card offers.
Keep your credit card spending to a small percentage of your total credit limit. Usually 30 percent is about right. If you spend too much, it’ll be harder to pay off, and won’t look good on your credit report. In contrast, using your credit card lightly lessens your stress, and can help improve your credit score.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
When credit cards are used in a mindful manner, they can provide you with huge benefits. Ranging from having flexibility to possibly racking up some perks, the credit cards that you own now or in the future can greatly brighten up your life. Use the information you’ve gathered here today for greater success in this area.