Credit card usage is an almost universal fact of modern life. There can be no denying that credit cards represent a degree of convenience and flexibility that is hard to beat. However, the key to smart credit card utilization is knowledge. By reading the ideas in this piece, it is possible to acquire the breadth of understanding necessary to make wise financial decisions.
Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
Pay attention to the terms and conditions to be sure that nothing has changed. It’s not uncommon in recent times for a card company to change their terms frequently. Oftentimes, the things that will affect you the most are written in legal language that can be difficult to translate. Read everything to learn if there are any new fees or rate adjustments that will affect you.
Anytime you apply for a credit card, you should always familiarize yourself with the terms of service that comes along with it. This will allow you to know what you can and cannot use your card for, as well as, any fees that you might possibly incur in different situations.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
Only spend what you could afford to pay for in cash. The benefit of using a card rather than cash, or a debit card, is that it establishes credit, which you will need to get a loan in the future. By only spending what you can afford to pay for in cash, you will never get into debt that you can’t get out of.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
If you ever have a charge on your card that is an error on the credit card company’s behalf, you can get the charges taken off. The way you do this is by sending them the date of the bill and what the charge is. You are protected from these things by the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Never give anyone credit card numbers on the Internet or on the phone unless you know and trust the company. If you are getting odd offers that want the number of your credit card, be very careful. There are a lot of scams in the world today that people do in order to get your card number. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and remain diligent.
If you are denied a credit card, find out why. It costs nothing to check the reporting agencies, after you have been denied credit by a card issuer. Recent federal laws require that issuers supply the information that creditors used to deny an applicant. Use this information to improve your score in the future.
Few people are totally unfamiliar with credit cards, as they are a staple in almost everyone’s financial lives. The lynchpin of smart, strategic utilization of credit cards, however, is a complete understanding of the ways in which they work. Keep the concepts in this article close at hand, and you will have the tools necessary to craft a responsible, prosperous financial plan using your credit cards.