Helping You Wade Through The Murky Credit Card Waters


It is important to understand all the fine print before using a credit card. Credit cards can be of great service to people, but they can also put you in really hot water in terms of debt! The following article will help you with some great tips on how to wisely use charge cards.

TIP! Credit cards often lure in new users with bonuses and gifts for signing up. Make certain you completely understand fine print in the terms and conditions though, because a lot of the credit card companies have very particular terms for you to qualify for before you get the bonus.

Try to avoid any credit card fees–late payment fees, annual fees, and exceeded limit fees. Both are high fees and going over your limit will also damage your credit score. Carefully watch that you do not exceed your credit limit.

Keep a close eye on your balance. Know the credit limit of that card. Exceeding the limit will result in significant fees. 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.

TIP! Understand what your interest rate will be. You must understand the interest rate before agreeing to accept a credit card.

If you have not established a credit history and are interested in obtaining a credit card, it may help to obtain a co-signer. Anyone who has good credit can be your co-signer. This person needs to be willing to agree to paying the balance if you don’t make the payments. This is the perfect way to obtain your first card and start to build positive credit.

Credit Scores

TIP! Watch your balance carefully. Also be aware of what your credit card spending limit is and adhere to it.

Check your credit score often if you wish to get a good card. Credit scores are used by credit card companies to determine the offer given to a consumer. Most of the time, cards with the lowest interest rates and bonus features are offered to those with the best credit scores.

When signing a credit receipt at a store or restaurant, don’t leave anything blank. Always strike out the tip line in order to prevent others from filling in an amount of their choosing. When your credit card statements arrive, take the time to ensure all charges are correct.

TIP! Understand fully the terms and conditions of a credit card before you apply for it. You might later find that your fees, payments and interest rates are different than what you expected.

If you use bank cards, stay on top of your credit standing by obtaining your credit report once a year so that you are reassured of the accuracy. Make sure that any information on your report syncs with what is on your statements.

If you are searching for cards that are secured, steer clear of prepaid cards. In reality they are debit cards, which means they don’t report to any major credit agencies. In actuality, these cards are really just high-interest checking accounts that are loaded with extra costs and fees. Choose a secured credit card (which requires a deposit) instead. The company will report your account to the credit bureaus and benefit your credit score.

TIP! Make sure that your passwords and pin numbers for all of your credit cards are difficult and complex. You don’t want anyone who can go through your trash to easily figure out your code, so avoiding things like birthdays, middle names and your kids’ names is definitely wise.

When getting a credit card, have the account active for as long as possible. If you are constantly switching accounts, you will not build a history with a lender. A longer history on an account will benefit your credit score. Building good credit depends, in part, on keeping your accounts open for a while.

Stop yourself from using credit cards for dining out or for buying groceries, because they may not appear on your statement for quit some time, and you may end underestimating the balance you still have available. Because you will think your balance is lower than it really is, you could end up spending more.

Credit Card Laws

Know what recent credit card laws have been created recently. For example, companies cannot give retroactive rate hikes. They also cannot bill using a double-cycle system. Know what the laws are. There are two major changes that have recently been enacted pertaining to credit card laws which may have a significant impact on you, so it is wise to be aware of them.

TIP! Be wary when making online purchases with your credit card. Check out the security of the site prior to putting in your information.

Avoid the low interest rate or annual percentage rate hype, and focus on the charges or fees that you will face when using the credit card. Application fees, cash advance fees and service charges are sometimes involved that make having the credit card less worthwhile.

Make sure a note that indicates your purchases is kept in an area in your home where it can be seen. This will show you how much you are spending and what exactly that money is going to. Failing to monitor spending often leads to over extending ourselves and before long, that can mean serious financial trouble!

TIP! Online purchases should only be with trusted vendors whom you have checked out before divulging information. Make sure to call the listed phone numbers to ensure that the company is who they say they are.

It is smart to contact your credit company before using the card for something out of the ordinary. For example, if you’ll be using your card abroad or making an extremely large purchase, it’s smart to let them know about it in advance. You can then avoid an alert to your company of possible identity fraud.

Credit Card

TIP! You can request a free annual credit report to ensure all the information on it is accurate. Make sure that any information on your report syncs with what is on your statements.

In the event that you will miss or be late with a payment, call your credit card company and request a reduction in your interest rate and any applicable fees. If you have been late with a payment, a credit company is likely to add extra fees and raise interest rates. You usually are able to get the charges reduced if you contact the company that issued your credit card.

When entertaining the idea of getting a credit card, you should first look at the larger, more popular institutions. The reason here is that the larger companies usually offer more flexible rates and better benefits. It is preferable to choose a major company when you select a credit card. Since your credit report is at stake, this is important.

TIP! Many people make the mistake of not obtaining credit cards, in order to make it appear that they have no debt. It’s important use one credit card, at least, in order for you to build a credit history.

When a credit card goes missing, your first move should be to contact your credit card company. This can help prevent fraudulent charges on your card. The company will also assign you a new account number and provide you with a new card.

Frequently, consumers are left to their own devices when it comes to finances, and they often are victims of high interest rates on their bank cards. Ideally, you have picked up some handy spending advice from this article and have a better idea about how to use your bank cards in a safe and responsible manner.