Advice Everyone Should Know When Dealing With Credit Cards
Credit cards have gotten a very bad rap over the last few years. This article will show you how credit cards can be used to your advantage, how to keep from making mistakes that can cost you, and most importantly, how to get yourself out of trouble if you’ve already waded in too deep.
When making purchases with your credit cards you should stick to buying items that you need instead of buyAdvice Everyone Should Know When Dealing With Credit Cardsing those that you want. Buying luxury items with credit cards is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. If it is something that you can live without you should avoid charging it.
The reason companies have low minimum payments is so they can charge you interest on everything on top of that. Always make more than your card’s minimum payment. Over time, this will help you to avoid paying so much out in interest.
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.
Do not make purchases with your credit card for things that you can not afford. Credit cards are for things that you purchase regularly or that fit into your budget. Making grandiose purchases with your credit card will make that item cost you a great deal more over time and will put you at risk for default.
Take advantage of the freebies offered by your credit card company. Many companies have some sort of cash back or points system that is attached to the card you own. When you use these things, you can receive cash or merchandise, just for using your card. If your card does not offer an incentive like this, call your credit card company and ask if it can be added.
One important tip for all credit card users is to make a budget. Having a budget is a great way to figure out whether or not you can afford to buy something. If you can’t afford it, charging something to your credit card is just a recipe for disaster.
No matter how tempting, never loan anyone your credit card. It could be your close friend, but it’s still a bad idea to give it to someone. You could be struck with expensive over-limit charges by your credit card provider if your friend accidentally overspends.
An important tip for saving money on gas is to never carry a balance on a gas credit card or when charging gas on another credit card. Plan to pay it off each month, otherwise, you will not only pay today’s outrageous gas prices, but interest on the gas, as well.
You may want to consider using layaway, instead of credit cards during the holiday season. Credit cards traditionally, will cause you to incur a higher expense than layaway fees. This way, you will only spend what you can actually afford during the holidays. Making interest payments over a year on your holiday shopping will end up costing you far more than you may realize.
Do not assume the interest rate that you currently receive is the best interest rate available. Just like any other business, credit card companies are in competition with each other and have many interest rates available to them. If you think your rate is too high, you can often call the issuing bank and request that they change it.
Don’t close accounts. While it might seem like closing accounts would help improve your credit score, doing so can actually lower it. When you close an account, your available credit is decreased and the ratio between it and what is owed decreases.
Find out if the interest rate on a new card is the regular rate, or if it is offered as part of a promotion. Many people do not realize that the rate that they see at first is promotional, and that the real interest rate may be a significant amount more than that.
It is an excellent idea to open one credit card account that you do not use. Tuck this credit card away for emergency expenses. Exercise discipline in this matter. Your emergency credit card should only be used in real “last resort” situations. If you ever have to use it, pay it off as quickly as possible after the emergency has passed.
If you have more than one credit card, leave one at home always. Use it perhaps for online purchases made from home, but do not take it out with you. This way, if you do wind up slipping up and running up the cards in your wallet, you still have an available credit card to use for emergencies.
When it comes to credit cards, be sure that you are weary of any sort of free offers. This is important, because a lot of times, the freebies that you are offered can be thought of as traps that may lure you in and end up costing you a lot of money in the future.
When considering whether or not you want to apply for a credit card, be sure that this is one that you both need and have a good chance of being accepted for. It is important to consider this, because with each credit application that you make, you are receiving a hard inquiry on your credit record. This can lead to lower scores with each credit check.
If your credit card becomes stolen or lost, report it immediately. Most credit card issuers have a special number to call just to report a loss. To keep you further protected, it is best to write a follow up letter to the issuer. This letter should have the card number, when your card went missing and the date you reported the card lost.
Some people need help getting out of a jam that they have created, and others are trying to avoid the pitfalls that they know are out there. Regardless of which camp you came from, this article has shown you the best ways to use credit cards and avoid the deep debt that comes along with them.