If you’re like many Americans, you’ve developed a bad habit of whipping out your credit card to pay for purchases and figuring out how to pay the bill later. This is not the right way to use credit. The good news is that with a little education, you can change the way you use your credit cards. Read on to find out what to do.
When making purchases with your credit cards you should stick to buying items that you need instead of buying those that you want. Buying luxury items with credit cards is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. If it is something that you can live without you should avoid charging it. Avoid ordering your credit cards via mail if your mailbox doesn’t lock. A lot of people who have stolen credit cards in the past did so with ease, because they’ve done it on mailboxes that aren’t locked. Be cautious when you use a credit card online. It is important that any website you are giving your credit card details to is secured. Secure sites keep your card information safe. Remember there are many dishonest people in the world that try to get your credit information through emails. Find a credit card that rewards you for your spending. Spend money on the card that you would need to spend anyway, such as gas, groceries and even, utility bills. Pay this card off each month as you would those bills, but you get to keep the rewards as a bonus. If you have made the poor decision of taking out a cash loan on your credit card, be sure to pay it off as soon as possible. Making a minimum payment on this kind of loan is a big mistake. Pay the minimum on other cards, if it means you can pay this debt off faster. 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. 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. If you cannot pay your entire credit card bill each month, you should definitely keep your available credit limit above 50% after each billing cycle. Having a good credit to debt ratio is an important part of your credit score. Make sure that your credit card is not constantly near its limit. Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you.
There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
When using your credit card online, only use it at an address that begins with https:\\. The “s” indicates that this is a secure connection that will encrypt your credit card information and keep it safe. If you use your card elsewhere, hackers could get hold of your information and use it for fraudulent activity. Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards. Your oldest credit card is the one that affects your credit report the most. Do not close this account unless the cost of keeping it open is too high. If you are paying an annual fee, ridiculous interest rates, or something similar, then close the account. Otherwise, keep that one open, as it can be the most beneficial to your credit score. Report any loss or theft of your credit card to the issuing company right away. If the stolen card starts getting used prior to you reporting it missing, you could be responsible for any charges. Once you have alerted your issuer to the fact that your card is missing, you cannot be required to pay unauthorized charges. Avoid paying upfront costs for a credit card, unless it is secured. Reputable card issuers do not require payment in advance. Also, do not pay someone to assist you in searching for a card. A reputable company will give you a card without any fees if you have a good credit score. Now that you’ve read this article, you know there’s a lot more to responsible credit card use, than just abstaining from using credit altogether. Reform your credit card habits, using the tips you have just read, so that your use of credit cards can help improve your credit scores, instead of interfering with you having good credit.