Although cash will always be necessary, money will often change hands through the use of credit cards in the future. As banks start raising fees for accounts and debit cards, many people are using credit for more and more of their money transactions and money storage needs. Follow this article and learn about this broadening market.
If you cannot afford to pay cash for something, think twice about charging it on your credit card. It is okay to buy something you know you can pay for shortly, but anything you are not sure about should be avoided.
Only inquire in regards to opening retail cards if you seriously shop at that store regularly. Even applying for a card with the store will reflect badly on your credit score if you’re not accepted, and there’s no sense in applying if you’re not a regular shopper. Too many inquiries on your credit can lower your credit rate.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
Aim to set up your own budget when dealing with credit cards. Budget your credit just like you budget your income. Do not think of a line of credit as extra money. Know how much you have allotted each month and keep a close eye on your spending to ensure you stick to it. Stay within your budget and pay any balance off each month.
Before applying for a credit card ensure you understand the terms and conditions. It is especially important to read the details about what happens to rates and fees after any introductory period. The only way you can fully comprehend a credit card policy, is by reading every inch of fine print.
If you are not satisfied with the high interest rate on your credit card, but aren’t interested in transferring the balance somewhere else, try negotiating with the issuing bank. You can sometimes get a lower interest rate if you tell the issuing bank that you are considering transferring your balances to a different credit card that offers low-interest transfers. They may lower your rate in order to keep your business!
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.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
Know your credit history before applying for new cards. The new card’s credit limit and interest rate will depend on how bad or good your credit history is. Avoid any surprises by getting a report on your credit from each of the three credit agencies once a year. You can get it free once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com, a government-sponsored agency.
You should ask the people at your bank if you can have an extra checkbook register, so that you can keep track of all of the purchases that you make with your credit card. Many people lose track and they assume their monthly statements are right and there is a huge chance that there may have been errors.
Try to reduce your interest rate. Call your credit card company, and request that this be done. Before you call, be sure you know how long you have had the credit card, your overall payment record, and your credit score. If all of these show positively on you as a good customer, then use them as leverage to get that rate lowered.
Make your credit card payments on time and in full, each and every month. Most credit card companies will charge an expensive late fee if you are even a day late. If you pay your bill 30 days late or more, creditors report this late payment to the credit bureaus.
Never give anyone credit card numbers on the Internet or on the phone unless you know and trust the company. Be weary if you’re receiving unsolicited offers that require you to give out your credit card number. There are a variety of scams designed to gather credit card information from unsuspecting consumers. Be diligent and protect yourself.
To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year.
Do not go on a spending spree just because you have a new card with a zero balance available to you. This is not free money, it is money that you will eventually have to pay back and going overboard with your purchases will only end up hurting you in the long run.
Once you close a credit card account, be sure to check your credit report. Make sure that the account that you have closed is registered as a closed account. While checking for that, be sure to look for marks that state late payments. or high balances. That could help you pinpoint identity theft.
Credit cards have always been useful when they are used responsibly. They are particularly handy now, as debit cards begin to suffer from more fees and restrictions. The expansion and growth in this field allows you too benefit from all the advantages credit cards can give you. Use the information in this article in making your credit card choices.