Having credit cards requires maintaining control. If used mindlessly, you can run up huge bills on frivolous purchases. However, if used properly, credit cards can earn great rewards excellent credit scores. Here are some tips to help you make sure that you use your cards and they do not use you.
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.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
Monitor your credit card spending closely to avoid overspending. It is easy to loose track of the money you spend when you use your card unless you make a commitment to keep track in a note book or spreadsheet.
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.
Use a credit card to pay for a recurring monthly expense that you already have budgeted for. Then, pay that credit card off each and every month, as you pay the bill. Doing this will establish credit with the account, but you don’t have to pay any interest, if you pay the card off in full each month.
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.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
Having the right habits and proper behaviors, takes the risk and stress out of credit cards. If you apply what you have learned from this article, you can use them as tools towards a better life. Otherwise, they can be a temptation that you will eventually succumb to and then regret it.