Credit cards are almost a necessity of modern life, but the easy credit that they offer can get many people in trouble. Knowing how to use credit cards responsibly is a key part of your financial education. The tips in this article will help make sure that you do not abuse your credit cards.
Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you compare interest rates. There is no standard when it comes to interest rates, even when it is based on your credit. Every company uses a different formula to figure what interest rate to charge. Be sure that you compare rates, to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Don’t purchase things with credit cards that you know you cannot afford, no matter what your credit limit may be. While it is alright to use them to pay for something you can afford at a later date, you should not buy a big-ticket item that you will have a problem paying for.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
Make sure that you make your payments on time when you have a credit card. The extra fees are where the credit card companies get you. It is very important to make sure you pay on time to avoid those costly fees. This will also reflect positively on your credit report.
Pay your minimum payment on time each month, to avoid more fees. If you can afford to, pay more than the minimum payment so that you can reduce the interest fees. Just be sure to pay the minimum amount before the due date.
Carefully consider those cards that offer you a zero percent interest rate. It may seem very alluring at first, but you may find later that you will have to pay sky high rates down the road. Learn how long that rate is going to last and what the go-to rate will be when it expires.
Don’t sign up for a credit card if you have not taken the time to read all of its terms and conditions. In particular, it is crucial to look for fees and raters that occur after introductory periods. Read all the fine print so that you totally understand the card’s terms.
When you are making a purchase with your credit card you, make sure that you check the receipt amount. Refuse to sign it if it is incorrect. Many people sign things too quickly, and then they realize that the charges are incorrect. It causes a lot of hassle.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
Always be careful when buying things online with a credit card. Check out the security of the site prior to putting in your information. This will keep your information away from prying eyes. Do not pay any attention to emails that want your credit card details.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
Having access to credit makes it much easier to manage your finances, but as you have seen, you need to do so with care. It is all too easy to over-extend yourself with your credit cards. Keep the tips you have learned from this article in mind, so that you can be a responsible credit card user.