Having a credit card could be a lifesaver when you are in a financial bind. Do you wish to pay for items, but don’t have the cash to do so? This is not a problem. Just put it on the plastic and you are fine. Are you trying to build your credit score? Having a credit card helps with that! Keep reading for more useful ways to use a credit card.
Make sure your card doesn’t have any annual fees, or you will pay too much. The annual fee for a platinum or black card could cost from $100, all the way up to $1,000, depending on how exclusive the card is. If you don’t have to have a card that’s exclusive, avoid fees and keep that in mind.
If you are having financial problems, talk with your credit company. If you are unsure whether you will make a payment, your company might work to create a payment plan that is adjusted for you. In many cases, after setting up such a deal credit card companies will not have to make late payment reports to the credit bureaus.
If you want a card but don’t have credit, you might need a co-signer. Co-signers can be siblings, parents, close friends, or anyone with established credit. They have to be willing to state they will pay what you owe if you are unable to pay it. Many have found this to be a great help in beginning the process of building credit.
Set a budget that you can stick to. You do not need to spend the entire limit on your card, even though it’s available. Know how much you will be able to afford to pay for that month so you can pay it off each month to avoid interest payments.
Be sure to always pay for your bank cards on time. If you do not pay your credit card by the due date, you will incur hefty charges. Furthermore, many credit card providers will increase your interest rate if you fail to pay off your balance in time. This increase will mean that all of the items that you buy in the future with your credit card will cost more.
Understand the terms and conditions for any credit card prior to agreeing to the use of the card. Fees and interest rates may be more than you feel is acceptable. The only way you can fully comprehend a credit card policy, is by reading every inch of fine print.
As soon as you receive your bank cards, sign them. A lot of people skip this step and have their cards stolen. Merchants often require cashiers to verify that signatures match in order to keep your cards safe.
Carefully monitor all communications from your credit card company, and open everything as soon as possible. Credit card companies can make changes to your annual membership fees and things like your interest rates but they have to send you a letter explaining what they have changed. Read the correspondence carefully to check for any unwanted changes. You have the right to cancel your card if you don’t like these changes!
Do not buy anything online with a credit card until you are certain that it is a legitimate business. Check to see if the company has posted a physical address on the site for their operations. You might also want to call phone numbers listed on the website to verify they are still active.
Do not ever provide credit card numbers to people who call you and ask for them. Many dishonest people use this ploy to get credit card information from unsuspecting people. Give out your number only if you are the one who made the call. Never provide your numbers to people who make the call to you. There is simply no way you can safely verify the identity of an unsolicited caller.
Have a list of your credit card numbers as well as lender’s emergency phone numbers. Secure the list in a spot away from the cards themselves. This information will be necessary to notify your lenders if you should lose your cards or if you are the victim of a robbery.
Some people avoid getting any bank cards, to afford the appearance of having no debt at all, and this can be a mistake. It’s important use one credit card, at least, in order for you to build a credit history. When you use it, pay for it! This will help establish credit without building a large balance. Your credit score will improve and you will be looked at as a better risk to lenders.
IF you plan on shopping around for a secured card, don’t use a prepaid one. These are not actually reported to the big credit bureaus and are really just debit cards in disguise. Lots of these cards charge extra fees too, and they are nothing more than a checking account really. Get a proper secured credit card by parting with a few hundred bucks for the deposit. These proper secured charge cards will help you to improve your credit rating, as they are reported to the major credit bureaus.
Now you understand just how credit works. You can use them for everyday purchases and to raise your credit rating. Use the tips you learned here to use your card responsibly and keep your credit score clean.