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.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
If possible, pay your credit cards in full, every month. Use them for normal expenses, such as, gasoline and groceries and then, proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will build your credit and help you to gain rewards from your card, without accruing interest or sending you into debt.
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.
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
Only order a credit card by mail if you have a mailbox that locks. Many thieves have admitted to stealing cards from mailboxes when those boxes did not lock.
Don’t buy anything using a credit card on a public computer. The kinds of publicly-accessible computers available in libraries and coffee shops will almost always retain a record of your purchase information. If you use these types of computers, you are setting yourself up. Only make a purchase from your personal computer.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
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.
Make sure you save your statements. Before you file them away, pay close attention to what is on them as well. If you see a charge that shouldn’t be on there, dispute the charge. All credit card companies have dispute procedures in place to assist you with fraudulent charges that may occur.
Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time.
If you cannot pay your entire credit card bill each month, you should definitely keep your available credit limit above 50% after each billing cycle. Having a good credit to debt ratio is an important part of your credit score. Make sure that your credit card is not constantly near its limit.
If you are getting rid of an old credit card, cut up the credit card through the account number. This is especially important, if you are cutting up an expired card and your replacement card has the same account number. As an added security step, consider throwing away the pieces in different trash bags, so that thieves can’t piece the card back together as easily.
Pick one credit card with the best rewards program, and designate it to regular use. This card can be used to pay for gas, groceries, dining out, and shopping. Be sure to pay it off each month. Designate another card for charges like, vacations for the family to be sure you do not overdo it on the other card.
If you use your credit cards to pay for gas, do not run too close to your spending limit if you have a purchase coming up. Many gas stations will put a $75 hold on your credit card for a few days, eating up your available space, meaning you can not charge other things.
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.
Make certain your son or daughter is ready for the responsibility before you allow them to get a credit card. While it might be difficult to consider your child too immature for a credit card, it will likely lead to much better spending habits down the road.
Be wary of signing up for credit cards for all the wrong reasons. Yes, enough miles for an incredible vacation sounds terrific, but do you really need that additional card? You may find the interest you pay on that card, especially when it is maxed out, will pay for that trip multiple times over.
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.