If you want to get your first credit card, but you aren’t sure which one to get, don’t panic. Credit cards aren’t nearly as complicated to understand as you might think. The tips in this article can help you to figure out what you need to know, in order to sign up for a credit card.
It’s good credit practice to consistently maintain two or three open credit cards. This will help you build one’s credit score, particularly if you pay your bill in full. However, if you open more than three, it may not look good to a lender when they pull your credit bureau report.
Do not consider using a credit card from a retail store unless you shop there regularly. When a retail store inquires about your credit prior to opening an account, that inquiry is recorded on your report whether you go through with opening a card or not. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Ensure you don’t overspend by carefully tracking your spending habits. If you don’t, you can easily forget what you’ve spent and end up in deep financial trouble.
When you are getting your first credit card, or any card for that matter, make sure you pay close attention to the payment schedule, interest rate, and all terms and conditions. Many people neglect to read this information, but it is definitely to your benefit if you take the time to read through it.
Do not accept the first credit card offer that you receive, regardless of how good it sounds. While you may be tempted to jump on an offer, you do not want to take any chances that you will end up signing up for a card and then, seeing a better deal shortly after from another company.
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.
Take the time to play around with numbers. Before you go out and put a pair of fifty dollar shoes on your credit card, sit with a calculator and figure out the interest costs. It may make you second-think the idea of buying those shoes that you think you need.
Be smart with how you use your credit. Many people are in debt, due to taking on more credit than they can manage or else, they haven’t used their credit responsibly. Do not apply for any more cards unless you need to and do not charge any more than you can afford.
Retain copies of all receipts for credit card purchase made on the web. Check the receipt against your credit card statement once it arrives to ensure that you were charged the correct amount. If they mis-charged you, first contact the company, and if they do not fix it, file a dispute with your credit company. This is a fantastic way to be sure that you’re never being charged too much for what you purchase.
If you are having a problem getting a credit card, consider a secured account. A secured credit card will require you to open a savings account before a card is issued. If you ever default on a payment, the money from that account will be used to pay off the card and any late fees. This is a good way to begin establishing credit, so that you have opportunities to get better cards in the future.
Credit cards are a lot simpler than you thought, aren’t they? Now that you’ve learned the basics of getting a credit card, you’re ready to sign up for your first card. Have fun making responsible purchases and watching your credit score begin to soar! Remember that you can always reread this article if you need extra help figuring out which credit card to get. Now you can go and get your card.