People need all the help they can get these days when it comes to managing finances. Bank cards are often quite helpful, but they can be dangerous in that using them incorrectly can lead to debt. Keep reading for great advice on the best way to use your credit cards.
Never use a credit card for purchases that are beyond your means. Before purchasing any expensive items, consider how long it will take for you to pay it off in full.
Whenever you see fraudulent charges on your statement, make a report right away. This allows the credit card issuer the best opportunity to find the offender. It also ensures you are not responsible for any charges made on the lost or stolen card. A quick call or simple email may be all that is required for you to report a fraudulent charge.
Before opening a store credit card, look into your past spending and make sure that it is high enough at that store to warrant a card. When a retail store inserts an inquiry onto your credit in order to qualify you for a card, this is recorded onto your credit report regardless of whether you actually open up the card. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
Many card issuers offer signing bonuses when you apply for a card. Pay close attention to the fine print so that you actually qualify for the promised bonus. The one that comes up the most is that you’re supposed to spend a very certain amount in the next few months to qualify for the bonus offer.
Paying only the minimum payment on your credit cards will result in the lenders getting a lot of money from you over time and it taking you forever to fully pay off your cards. Whenever you can afford to, send in payments that exceed the minimum amount. Paying off your balance faster helps you avoid expensive finance charges over the life of your debt.
In addition to avoiding late fees, it is wise to avoid any fees for going over your limit. Both fees are steep, and going past the limit will affect both your pocketbook and your credit score. Be vigilant and pay attention so you don’t go over the credit limit.
Make your credit card payments in a timely manner. All card balances have due dates. If you ignore them, you have the risk of getting charged large fees. On top of that, the majority of credit card companies reward this behavior by raising interest rates, which means that anything you buy in the future will cost more money.
As this article has shown, consumers can use a bit of help when it comes to managing their credit. Properly used, charge cards can improve your credit rating, increase your buying power, and save you money.