Given the economic conditions of the modern world, there are few consumers out there who couldn’t make use of some extra financial management advice to help them keep from spending too much money. Bank cards can be of great service to people, but they can also put you in really hot water in terms of debt! If you want to find out how to make use of bank cards responsibly, check out the following suggestions.
Never get rid of an account for a credit card prior to going over what it entails. Sometimes it is better to leave an unused credit account open than it is to close it. Also, keep open all the accounts that make up most of your history.
Set a credit card budget. Many people budget their income and cash, and credit spending should be included as well. Never look at a credit card as more money. Set aside an amount of money that you can pay each month on your credit cards, and follow through each month with the payment. Stick with it and pay it every month.
Keep a close eye on your balance. Be aware of what your limit is so that you never exceed it. Going over this limit will result in greater fees incurred. If you continually keep your balance over the limit, the fees will continue to add up and you will have difficulty getting your balance paid down.
It is common for bank cards to be linked to loyalty or affinity programs. If you are a regular credit card user, sign up for a card that offers incentives you can use. Used wisely, they can even provide an extra source of income.
Anyone who is in the market for new bank cards is wise to look for cards with no annual fee and low interest rates. Since so many cards do not charge an annual fee, it is a waste of your money to pay annual fees.
Do not have a pin number or password that would be easy for someone to guess. Common information like names, or birthdays are easy to guess and should be avoided.
Don’t make a written record of your credit card’s PIN or password. You must remember the number so that others can’t access your account. If you write it down on a bill or keep it in your financial files, a thief could easily steal this information.
Watch your own credit score. Having a credit score that’s about 700 is what a lot of companies consider the limit for good credit. Use your credit wisely to maintain that level, or if you are not there, to reach that level. When you have a score that is around 700, or even higher, then you can get good credit offers that have minimal rates.
Know your credit card laws to ensure that you are protected. For example, companies cannot give retroactive rate hikes. Also, double cycle billing is prohibited. Read up on the laws. The CARD and Fair Credit Billing Acts are the two main legislative changes that have been instituted recently.
Carefully review all statements you get from your credit card company. Check to see if there are errors, and make sure that you actually incurred all the charges. It’s important to contact your credit card provider about any discrepancies as soon as possible. This can stop you from paying more than you really owe and it is possible that it might help your credit score.
Once you’ve closed your account associated with your credit card, remember to destroy the card completely. It isn’t a good idea to toss it in a drawer or allow your child to use it as a toy, even if the account is closed. Someone could still glean information about you from the card, open another account in your name, and start racking up debt.
You shouldn’t be scared of paying off one credit card with a different one, providing that the card your paying with has lower interest rates and fees. Even if interest rates are similar, other cards might give perks or points towards airline tickets. Just be sure to understand all of the terms before you transfer any balances.
Frequently, consumers are left to their own devices when it comes to finances, and they often are victims of high interest rates on their charge cards. This article has covered how to use your credit card responsible, so you now have the tools needed to be a responsible consumer.