Getting and using a credit card is a matter of educating yourself about credit. While there are lots of credit cards to choose from, most of them are pretty similar, so if you learn some credit card basics, you’ll be able to understand what you’re looking at. Read this article to learn about credit cards.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
Do not close credit card accounts until you know the full effect it could have on your credit score. Many times, closing an account leaves a negative mark on your credit record, and should be avoided, even if you do not plan to ever use the account again. Also, maintain cards that have most of your credit history.
Do not bother with retail credit cards unless you have a serious intent to shop at a given store on a regular basis. When you apply for store charge card, an inquiry is noted on your credit bureau report whether you are approved or not. A report that is peppered with too many credit inquiries like those made by retail stores can hurt your overall credit score.
If possible, pay your credit cards in full, every month. Use them for normal expenses, such as, gasoline and groceries and then, proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will build your credit and help you to gain rewards from your card, without accruing interest or sending you into debt.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
If you have a credit card, add it into your monthly budget. Budget a specific amount that you are financially able to put on the card each month, and then pay that amount off at the end of the month. Try not to let your credit card balance ever get above that amount. This is a great way to always pay your credit cards off in full, allowing you to build a great credit score.
Learn how to manage your credit card online. Most credit card companies now have online resources where you can oversee your daily credit actions. These resources give you more power than you have ever had before over your credit, including, knowing very quickly, whether your identity has been compromised.
Do not write you password or pin number down at any time. You must remember the number so that others can’t access your account. Writing your pin down and placing it in a similar area where you place your card is not a good thing to do.
Do not lend out credit cards under any circumstance. Although you might be tempted to help out a good friend, lending out your credit cards is not a good idea. It can lead to over-limit charges if your friend should put more on the card than you had authorized them to.
Make sure you are consistently using your card. You do not have to use it frequently, but you should at least be using it once a month. While the goal is to keep the balance low, it only helps your credit report if you keep the balance low, while using it consistently at the same time.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
As stated earlier in this article, credit card use isn’t nearly as complicated as some folks like to make it seem. Now that you’ve learned a little more about credit, it shouldn’t seem overwhelming or scary. Whether you’re looking for your first card or want to improve your credit card habits, hopefully, this article has helped you.