Don’t let the fear of credit cards stop you from improving your score, buying the things you need or want. There are proper ways to use credit cards, and when done correctly, they can make your life better instead of worse. This article is going to show you just how to do it.
Whenever you are considering a new credit card, you should always avoid applying for credit cards that have high interest rates. While interest rates compounded annually may not seem all that much, it is important to note that this interest can add up, and add up fast. Make sure you get a card with reasonable interest rates.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
Learn how to manage your credit card online. Most credit card companies now have online resources where you can oversee your daily credit actions. These resources give you more power than you have ever had before over your credit, including, knowing very quickly, whether your identity has been compromised.
Never use a public computer to buy anything with your credit card. Sometimes, your information gets stored on a public computer like the ones you find in libraries. If you put credit information into these computers, that is courting trouble. Use only your own computer at home for any and all purchases.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
Make sure you are consistently using your card. You do not have to use it frequently, but you should at least be using it once a month. While the goal is to keep the balance low, it only helps your credit report if you keep the balance low, while using it consistently at the same time.
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.
Most professionals say that limits on your credit cards should not be more than 75% of what your salary is every month. Also, you should never allow yourself to have a limit that exceeds your monthly salary. If you do, pay that card off and ask for a limit reduction. This happens when the interest builds up it becomes too hard to pay back.
Avoid the temptation to take out loans on your credit cards. It may seem to be the only way to get something paid for, but you must look into other options. Many financial advisers will tell you this and there is a reason for it. It could cost you your credit ratings later.
Just because you made a purchase, does not mean you should immediately pay it off the moment you return home. Instead, pay off the balance in full each month. Your credit card payment history will look better and it will raise your credit score.
Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year.
You have read a lot here today about how to avoid common mistakes with credit cards, and also the best ways to use them wisely. Although there is a lot of information to learn and remember, this is a good starting point for making the best financial decisions that you can.