Learning to manage your finances is not always easy, especially when it comes to the use of credit cards. Even when we are very careful, we can end up paying way too much in interest charges or even incur a significant amount of debt in a short time. The following article will help you to learn how to use credit cards smartly.
Do not accept the first credit card offer that you receive, regardless of how good it sounds. While you may be tempted to jump on an offer, you do not want to take any chances that you will end up signing up for a card and then, seeing a better deal shortly after from another company.
Minimum payments are computed to extend the length of time it takes to pay off your credit card balance. This naturally means that you should pay more than simply the least allowable amount. You will save a lot of money on interest in the end.
Keep track of your credit score if you would like to get a good credit card. The credit card issuing agents use your credit score to determine the interest rates and incentives they will offer you in a card. The ones that have the lowest rates, best incentives and the highest points are only given to people with excellent credit.
Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.
Keep yourself updated on the status of your credit score. A good credit score is considered by credit card companies to be over 700. Establish your credit so that you can obtain and keep that level. At a score greater than 700, you will get the best rates and offers.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
You should try and limit the number of credit cards that are in your name. Too many credit cards is not good for your credit score. Having several different cards can also make it more difficult to keep track of your finances from month to month. Try and keep your credit card count between two and four.
Make sure you save your statements. Before you file them away, pay close attention to what is on them as well. If you see a charge that shouldn’t be on there, dispute the charge. All credit card companies have dispute procedures in place to assist you with fraudulent charges that may occur.
Many people, especially when they are younger, feel like credit cards are a type of free money. The fact is, they are exactly the opposite, paid money. Remember, every time you use your credit card, you are basically taking out a micro-loan with incredibly high interest. Never forget that you must repay this loan.
Do not close too many credit accounts at once. Closing an account can hurt your credit score instead of helping. This is the case because closing a credit card account results in a lower amount of total credit for you, and that means that you will have a lower ratio between your total credit and the amount you owe.
If you pay your credit card bill with a check each month, make sure you send that check out as soon as you get your bill so that you avoid any finance charges or late payment fees. This is good practice and will help you create a good payment history too.
Credit cards can either be your friend or they can be a serious foe which threatens your financial well being. Hopefully, you have found this article to be provisional of serious advice and helpful tips you can implement immediately to make better use of your credit cards wisely and without too many mistakes along the way!