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.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
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.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
Avoid being the victim of credit card fraud by keeping your credit card safe at all times. Pay special attention to your card when you are using it at a store. Double check to make sure you have returned your card to your wallet or purse, when the purchase is finished.
If you have poor credit and want to repair it, consider a pre-paid credit card. This type of credit card can usually be found at your local bank. You can only use the money that you have loaded onto the card, but it is used as a real credit card, with payments and statements. By making regular payments, you will be repairing your credit and raising your credit score.
Consider getting a co-signer if you wish to open a credit card without established credit. A parent, friend, sibling or other trusted person with previously established credit can be a co-signer. They have to be willing to state they will pay what you owe if you are unable to pay it. This is a great way to get your first credit card and begin to build your credit.
It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.
Prior to shopping online with a credit card, it is important to know that you are buying from a reputable merchant. You should call any numbers that are listed on the site to make sure that they are working, and you should avoid using merchants that have no physical address listed on the site.
Never apply for more credit cards than you actually need. It’s true that you need a few credit cards to help build your credit, but there is a point at which the amount of credit cards you have is actually detrimental to your credit score. Be mindful to find that happy medium.
Look into the rewards that credit card companies offer. Find one that is going to pay you for making purchases on their card. If you are trying to maximize the rewards, charge everything you can on the card, but be sure to put enough cash back to pay the card off each month, in order to avoid losing your rewards to interest fees.
A good thing to remember is that you should not immediately make a credit card payment after you make a charge. All you have to do is wait for a statement to come, and pay that balance. This will help to improve your credit rating.
Make your credit card payments on time and in full, each and every month. Most credit card companies will charge an expensive late fee if you are even a day late. If you pay your bill 30 days late or more, creditors report this late payment to the credit bureaus.
Never send credit card numbers via fax. Not all fax machines are located in secure locations, so you have no idea who could read the fax and note down your credit card details. Even a small amount of information can give other people the ability to use your card. You are then susceptible to fraudulent charges and a whole host of other dilemmas.
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.