It is easy to become overwhelmed by the barrage of credit card applications arriving in your mailbox every day. The offers range from low interest rates to fast, easy approval to lucrative rewards schemes. What is a consumer to do? The following information will assist you in understanding what you must know about these cards.
Only open retail store cards if you shop there on a regular basis. When a retail store inquires about your credit prior to opening an account, that inquiry is recorded on your report whether you go through with opening a card or not. A lot of inquiries from stores can lower your credit rating.
Set yourself a budget you can stick with. Just because you are allowed a certain limit on spending with your credit cards doesn’t mean that you need to actually spend that much every month. Be aware of what you should set aside for each month so you may make responsible spending decisions.
When looking to open a credit card, start by eliminating any with annual fees or high interest rates. There are plenty of cards that don’t come with an annual fee, so getting one that does is foolish.
Do not lend other people your credit card for any reason. Even if it is a great friend of yours, that should still be avoided. They may make too many charges or go over whatever limit you set for them.
Everyone has experienced this. The amount of junk mail and credit card offers you receive, sometimes gets annoying. Sometimes you are in the market for one, and often times you may not be. When you dispose of this mail, make sure to tear it up. Never just throw it in the trash can, because sometimes such offers include personal data.
Write down the card numbers, expiration dates, and customer service numbers associated with your cards. Have this information in a secure area, like a safe, and away from your actual cards. You’ll be grateful for this list in the event that your cards get lost or stolen.
Don’t believe your card interest rate is non-negotiable. The credit card industry is a competition, and all credit card companies have different interest rates that they can use. Call your bank if you are unhappy with the interest rate given to you.
Many experts believe that the limits on your credit cards should not be above 75% of your total monthly salary. If your balance is more than you earn in a month, try to pay it off as quickly as you can. This is because your interest will just keep growing bigger and bigger.
There are many people who choose not to take on credit cards simply to make it look like they have zero debt. You must carry one credit card if you want to build credit. Use it and pay it off each month. By having no credit, you will lower your credit score and prospective lenders will not be able to determine that you know how to manage debt.
See if your credit card issuer is willing to lower your interest rate. If you have a positive credit history with the company, they may be willing to reduce the interest they are charging you. This can really save you a lot of money and it never hurts to ask.
You should generally avoid using your credit card for grocery purchases and restaurant bills. The reason for this is that these transactions tend to take a significant amount of time before appearing on your statement. This can cause you to spend more than you would like to because your credit card balance will appear lower than the amount you are actually responsible for.
Do not tell other people of the number of your credit card. Often times, people ask this information through the internet or through the phone. Do not do this if you do not know the company you’re dealing with. Be very suspicious of any offers that are unsolicited and request your credit card number. There are a lot of shady people out there and they often try to get credit information over the phone. Protect yourself and be diligent.
You can really damage your credit score if you use a credit card to make purchases for more than what you can pay for with cash. If that happens, it will be difficult to finance a car, rent a place to live, receive insurance, or even get a job in some cases.
Secured cards are an excellent way for credit companies to weigh your credit worthiness. This type of account will usually lead to an unsecured credit account if you are diligent with your payments. Credit card offers will probably start arriving in your mail again when you reach this point. Take the time to re-evaluate your personal financial situation as you go into the decision making mode.
Always read find print before doing any kind of balance transfer. Make certain you are clear as to what will happen once the introductory term is over. Often, interest rates will grow much higher after this early time period. Know what you’re getting into before you sign up.
Designate only one credit card to use for online purchases in order to minimize any damage that could occur if your information is stolen. If you use more than one card to buy things online, you increase your vulnerability. Having one card that you only use online will reduce your exposure.
Whenever you are traveling, especially overseas, take two credit cards with you. If you want to have multiple financial options, it’s important to have cards from different banks available to you. If you run into trouble using a card, a different one from that bank won’t be of any help. If the cards are different, your access to the credit you need will be increased.
People today receive an overwhelming amount of offers for credit cards in the mail. By informing yourself, it is easier to choose the right credit cards. The above article contained advice to help credit card users make wise choices.