Credit cards hold tremendous power. Your use of them, proper or otherwise, can mean having breathing room, in case of an emergency, positive impact on your credit scores and history, and the possibility of perks that enhance your lifestyle. Keep reading to learn some great ideas on how to harness the power of credit cards in your life.
Do not use credit cards to purchase items that are much more than you can possibly afford. If it is something that is going to cause you financial difficulty, you are better off avoiding the purchase.
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.
You should contact your creditor, if you know that you will not be able to pay your monthly bill on time. Many people do not let their credit card company know and end up paying very large fees. Some creditors will work with you, if you let them know the situation ahead of time and they may even end up waiving any late fees.
A lot of companies offer large bonuses for new customers. It is important to totally understand the specific terms laid out by the credit card company since you must follow their guidelines to qualify for a bonus. For example, you may need to spend a specific amount within a certain period of time in order to qualify for the bonus. Be sure that you’ll be able to meet the requirements before you let the bonus offer tempt you.
If you have multiple cards that have a balance on them, you should avoid getting new cards. Even if you are paying everything back on time, there is no reason for you to take the chance of getting another card and making your financial situation any more strained than it already is.
Make the minimum monthly payment in the very least on all of your credit cards. Not making the minimum payment on time can cost you a great deal of money over time. It can also cause harm to your credit rating. To protect both your expenses, and your credit rating be sure to make minimum payments on time each month.
Before signing up for any credit card, make sure that you comprehend the terms and conditions fully. The fees and interest of the card may be different than you originally thought. Read every word of the fine print to be sure that you completely comprehend the policy.
If you have a credit card, add it into your monthly budget. Budget a specific amount that you are financially able to put on the card each month, and then pay that amount off at the end of the month. Try not to let your credit card balance ever get above that amount. This is a great way to always pay your credit cards off in full, allowing you to build a great credit score.
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.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
It is a good idea to avoid walking around with any credit cards on you that already have a balance. If the card balance is zero or very close to it, then that is a better idea. Walking around with a card with a large balance will only tempt you to use it and make things worse.
You should try and limit the number of credit cards that are in your name. Too many credit cards is not good for your credit score. Having several different cards can also make it more difficult to keep track of your finances from month to month. Try and keep your credit card count between two and four.
As was stated earlier, the credit cards in your wallet represent considerable power in your life. They can mean having a fallback cushion in case of emergency, the ability to boost your credit rating and the chance to rack up rewards that make your life easier. Apply what you have learned in this article to maximize your potential benefits.