Credit cards are a big source of frustration for a lot of people. As with most anything else, your experience with credit cards will be easier if you arm yourself with the right information first. Use the tips in this article to help you learn how to live responsibly with bank cards.
Work at improving your credit score if you want a credit card with lower interest rates. Creditors use your credit score to decide what type of card to offer you. The best credit cards are usually reserved for those with high credit scores.
Those of you looking to get a new credit card should limit their search to cards that have low interest rates and do not have an annual fee. With the plethora of suitable charge cards available without annual fees, there is simply no reason to get stuck with a card that does charge one.
Be sure to watch out for changing terms. Credit card companies have recently been making big changes to their terms, which can actually have a huge impact on your personal credit. Often, these changes are buried in a lot of legal language. It is especially important to look for changes in rates and fees.
Never give out a credit card number over the phone if someone else initiates the request. Many dishonest people use this ploy to get credit card information from unsuspecting people. Only allow those that you trust to have your credit card number. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you. Credit card thieves will say anything to get you to believe their story, and they are very good at it.
It is commonly thought that high limits on charge cards should never exceed 3/4 of a consumer’s monthly pay. If the balance you are carrying is greater than one month’s earnings, begin paying it down right away. Your interest will quickly become unpayable.
A secured credit card may be an option you want to look into if your credit score is in trouble. These are cards that require a balance as collateral. What these cards let you do is borrow money from yourself and you will pay interest to do so. The advantage is that responsible use of an unsecured card is an effective way to improve your credit score. When getting a secured card, make sure you stay with a reputable company. They might eventually offer you a card that is unsecured which is even better.
If you are shopping around for secured cards, stay away from prepaid cards. In reality they are debit cards, which means they don’t report to any major credit agencies. A lot of them charge additional fees and they are nothing more than checking accounts. 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.
Credit Card Laws
Know the credit card laws that have been enacted in recent years. For example, no credit card company can impose a retroactive rate increase on you. The companies are also not allowed to bill in a double-cycle. Read up on credit card laws. Recently, the FCBA and CARD Act were established.
Don’t give credit card numbers out, online or over the telephone, without knowing that the company you’re dealing with is trustworthy. Be weary if you’re receiving unsolicited offers that require you to give out your credit card number. There are a lot of scams in the world today that people do in order to get your card number. Be thorough and protect your card number.
Never send your credit card information through a fax machine. Faxes sit in offices for hours on end, and an entire office full of people will have free access to all of your personal information. Even a small amount of information can give other people the ability to use your card. Once they have your information, they could steal your identity, make fraudulent charges, and ruin your credit.
It is best to try to negotiate the best interest rate with your credit card company. You can usually negotiate your rates with your creditor. You may have a good chance to get your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) lowered if make sure you make timely payments, and have a good track record.
Make sure to monitor your transactions regularly. If offered, you could even sign up for mobile alerts. With a mobile alert, you are notified of any suspicious activity and are able to check into it as soon as it occurs. Any suspicious activity on your account should be reported to your bank, as well as to the police if necessary.
Remember to have the necessary discipline when you are using your credit cards. Some consumers have a hard time keeping their spending within reasonable limits. Charge cards are a bad idea for these kinds of people. Opening a credit card account, if you are one of those people, simply opens you up to a financial future full of pitfalls and devastation.
It can be tempting to break out your credit card for every purchase, especially if you earn rewards; however, if the purchase is very small, opt for cash instead. Many vendors have a minimum charge for credit card users, which means you’ll be stuck looking for extra things to buy at the last minute. Only use your credit card when making a purchase over $10.
As mentioned earlier, many people can become frustrated with their creditors. However, you may find it easier to get the right card if you take the proper precautions and learn as much as you can first about credit cards. Use the suggestions from the above article so that you can enjoy owning a credit card a lot more.