Many problems can be created by wasteful spending and the overuse of credit cards. Credit cards should not be feared. If you need to buy something that you don’t have the cash for or don’t want to spend the cash on immediately, you can use a credit card. This article contains some credit card advice that will help you to make smart financial decisions.
Watch for new cards that offer a signing-up bonus if you are looking to add a credit card to you wallet. Make sure that you go over the fine print because a lot of these bank cards will have terms that are very specific on qualifying for bonuses. For instance, it could be listed in your contract that you can only receive a bonus if you spend X amount of money every period. If this is something you’re not comfortable with, you need to know before you enter a contract.
Try to avoid any credit card fees–late payment fees, annual fees, and exceeded limit fees. Both are expensive fees and exceeding your limit can also hurt your credit score. This is a very good reason to always be careful not to exceed your limit.
You should develop a budget for your credit card usage. Add your credit card budget into the budget you have created for your paycheck. Your credit card is not extra money, so never view it this way. Therefore, it is important to set a budget stating the amount of money you can charge to your credit card. Never go above that amount and make sure to pay it in full every month.
Understand the credit card agreement before you use that card. When you make your first purchase on a new credit card, the credit card company will usually consider your purchase as your acceptance to their terms. The fine print on the terms of the agreement is small, but it’s well worth the time and effort to read the agreement and understand it completely.
Ensure you are always paying your credit card bill on time. All credit balances have a specific due date; if you don’t pay attention to it, you will likely be charged high fees. Furthermore, it is common for card issuers to increase interest rates, which means that every expenditure will be more expensive going forward.
Never use a password or pin code for your credit card that is really easy for people to figure out. It is a huge mistake to use something like your middle name, date of birth or the names of your children because this is information that anyone could find out.
Resist the temptation to loan credit cards to people. It may be a friend that needs it for something, but it is never a good idea to give your credit card to anyone. This can lead to your friendship being ruined. Or it can result in over the limit charges should your friend charge more than you authorized.
Before using a credit card to buy something online, be sure that the seller you’re buying from is legitimate. If there is a telephone number on the site, call the number to be sure it is legitimate. You should avoid any merchant that doesn’t list an actual physical address. That is a big red flag.
Prepaid cards should be avoided when you are seeking a secured credit card. These are typically debit cards and don’t report to the credit bureaus. Many prepaid card providers also charge extortionate fees for each transaction. Instead, put a deposit down on a secured credit card. These cards report your on-time payments to credit bureaus, which can help you improve your credit.
It is important that you understand all the new laws governing credit cards. For example, credit card companies may not impose retroactive rate increases. They are not allowed to do any double-cycle billing. Learn about current laws. The Fair Credit Billing and the CARD Act are two of the major changes that have recently been made.
Always review your credit card statements carefully. Try to find any discrepancies in your statement or any false charges. Talk with your company about the problem immediately. This could prevent you from having to pay a lot of money, and it could also save your credit rating as well.
Hopefully, the advice about credit cards will help you alleviate your unnecessary fear of using charge cards for purchases. When used properly, bank cards are a great convenience and a useful tool for improving your financial life. Just keep the given advice in mind and you should be fine.