Charge cards give people the ability to make purchases without making instant payment. If you want to take advantage of this utility without making financial mistakes, piling up debt, and hurting your credit score, you need to educate yourself on wise credit card usage. Here are some ways to use your credit cards wisely so that you avoid a lot of trouble down the road.
Do not use charge cards to purchase items that are much more than you can possibly afford. While credit can help you afford things you can pay off over a few months, avoid charging expensive items that you cannot pay off quickly.
Do not write down passwords or PINs related to your credit card–ever. The safest place for this information is in your memory, where nobody else can access it. If you write down a PIN or password, especially if you put it in your wallet with your card, anyone can access it.
Only apply for store cards with merchants you shop with often. Every credit inquiry impacts your credit score, even if you do not end up getting the card after all. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
A secured credit card may be an option you want to look into if your credit score is in trouble. These cards require a collateral, which is the balance. Essentially, you’re borrowing your money and then paying interest on the privilege itself. Not the best idea, but it can help you better your credit. When you are going to apply for one of these secured charge cards, make certain the company you choose is reputable. Down the road, you may even be able to switch to an unsecured (regular) credit card.
Carefully consider all the fees associated with a particular card. The interest rate and APR are important, but be mindful of all the fees that come with a card. Other fees like service charges and cash advance fees can quickly add up.
Most people don’t know how to handle a credit card correctly. Although it is possible to get into debt in times of crisis, it should not be a regular occurrence under ordinary circumstances or a result in spending beyond your means, which leaves you with payments you cannot make. It is ideal to pay off credit card balances every month. This will help you establish credit and improve your credit rating.
If you carry balances on multiple cards, it helps to choose one to pay off each month. Your credit record can improve if you can demonstrate an ability to pay a card off in full each month.
Upon closing a credit account, it is imperative that you destroy the associated card. Do not just leave it lying around or let your children use it as a toy. If the card falls into the wrong hands, someone could reactivate the account and leave you responsible for unauthorized charges.
When consumers use charge cards with good financial wisdom and common sense, they can be extremely helpful. The basics presented here have taught you how to buy things with your card while protecting your credit score and avoiding getting into debt.
Understand the APR you are being offered. This is especially true before signing up for a new card, so read the fine print or ask the right questions to determine the interest rate you would be paying with the card. If you are unaware, you may end up paying far more than the initial price. If the interest rate is too high, you might find yourself carrying a bigger and bigger balance over each month.