Credit cards can be useful when buying something, because you don’t have to pay for it instantly. Be sure you understand the basics before you start using your brand new credit card. Carefully look through this article for advice about charge cards.
It’s a smart practice to have 2 or 3 open credit cards in good standing. That works to build a stable credit history, particularly if you repay balances in full each month. That said, if you go all out and open four or more cards, it may look bad to lenders when they evaluate your credit reports.
Do not consider using a credit card from a retail store unless you shop there regularly. Every application for a credit card is recorded on your credit file, even if you do not actually open up a store card account. Too many inquiries into your credit history will be a red flag to possible lenders and will lower your overall credit score.
A lot of people don’t handle their credit card correctly. While some situations understandably cause debt, too many people abuse credit cards and go into debt. Remember to pay your credit card balance every month. By using this strategy, not only does your card maintain a low balance, you also increase your credit score.
Always know the amount of your current balance. It is also important to know your credit limits. If you happen to charge an amount over your limit, you will face fees that are quite costly. It is going to take a longer time to pay off the balance when you’re always going over the limit.
If you want to get a credit card but do not have established credit, consider finding a co-signer. A parent or other relative may be willing to be a co-signer. Your co-signer must sign a statement that makes them responsible for the balance if you default on the debt. This is a good method for improving and building your credit.
Never pay a credit card late. Your credit card payments have a date that they are due by and ignoring them will cost you additional fees. Card companies will give you a higher interest rate as well, increasing the cost of purchases made in the future.
As soon as you receive your charge 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.
If you make credit card purchases online, do not do so from a public computer. Your information will be stored on these public computers, such as those in coffee shops, and the public library. You don’t want your personal and credit card information in these computers as it can cause you trouble. Only use your own computer to buy things online.
Keep contact information for credit card companies, your account number, and all other relevant data in a safe place that is easy for you to access. Keep this list in a safe place, like a safety deposit box, away from each of your charge cards. This list is going to help you if you ever get robbed and they get stolen or if you lose them somewhere along the way.
Credit card experts suggest that your credit limit should not be more than three-quarters of your monthly earnings. If the balance you are carrying is greater than one month’s earnings, begin paying it down right away. If you don’t the interest you pay could quickly get out of control.
If you are not happy with your interest rate, ask your bank to change it. If they end up refusing you, you can always look for a credit card with better interest rates. After you find it, transfer your debt to the new card.
A great tip for any card holder is to get an annual credit report to be sure everything is right. Check your credit report against your own account statements to ensure that they align.
Don’t lie about your income in an attempt to qualify for a higher line of credit than you can manage. Some companies don’t bother to check income and they grant large limits, which may be something you cannot afford.
Report a lost or stolen card to the company that maintains your credit card immediately. It is a possibility that if your card is stolen and used prior to you reporting the theft, you could be liable for any charges. Once the card has been reported stolen, your credit card issuer will not be able to hold you accountable for transactions made on it.
Never pay upfront fees to get a new credit card, unless the money is being used for your secured credit card. Legitimate companies simply do not do this. You should also avoid giving someone money to assist you in finding a credit card. If your credit is good, you can get a card by yourself.
Don’t always use a credit card simply because you get air miles. If you put all your charges on one card because you want plane tickets and free air miles, you may get them. However, you may also end up with high interest charges.
If you find that one of your credit cards is unnecessary, cancel it. That way, you will always know where they are and will be alerted immediately if they are lost. Keep your charge cards together in a safe place and check each of them regularly. If you do lose a card, contact your credit card issuer as soon as possible to report it missing.
Make sure to write down all of the details for each of your cards, including the numbers and contact information for the company. This information should be kept in a secure location. This way, if you ever get your wallet or purse stolen, you could easily contact your credit card provider and report the loss. You need to report lost cards immediately to avoid liability for unauthorized charges.
Bank cards are a great tool if used the right way. The basics presented here have taught you how to buy things with your card while protecting your credit score and avoiding getting into debt.