Finance Articles

Keep Credit Cards From Ruining Your Financial Life

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Consumers today can use a lot of help when it comes to keeping their financial situation in good order, this is certainly true when it comes to managing credit cards. Credit cards can offer some great benefits, but they also have the ability to put you deep into debt. The best thing to do is carefully peruse all the fine print.

Never use a credit card for purchases that are beyond your means. It is okay to buy something you know you can pay for shortly, but anything you are not sure about should be avoided.

Try to keep at least two, but not more than three, credit lines open simultaneously. This will assist you in raising your credit rating if you pay all balances in full monthly. That said, if you go all out and open four or more cards, it may look bad to lenders when they evaluate your credit reports.

Credit card companies calculate their minimum payments so that you can pay a small amount and let them earn a large amount of interest from you over time. Always pay more than just the minimum amount required. Avoid paying interest as much as possible in the long run.

Before even using your new credit card, be sure to read all the terms of the agreement. A lot of credit card places think of your first purchase as your agreement to their terms. You should particularly go over the fine print, even though it may be difficult to read.

It may not be a wise idea to apply for a credit card when you first meet the age requirement. You should try to understand more about having credit cards before you make any decisions that can financially affect you. Get a little bit of adult experience under your belt before making the leap.

Those people looking to acquire a new card should look for no annual fee, lower interest rates and lots of perks. There are so many credit card companies that a card with annual fees is just a waste.

Keep an eye on your credit score. Most credit cards consider a good credit score to be anything above 700. Establish your credit so that you can obtain and keep that level. By having a score of seven hundred or higher, you will get the best offers and you will have the lowest rates at the same time.

Do not ever provide credit card numbers to people who call you and ask for them. Scammers commonly use this method for getting your number. You should give your number only if you call a trusted company first to pay for something. Don’t just give these numbers out when someone asks on the phone. There is simply no way you can safely verify the identity of an unsolicited caller.

Avoid paying off your credit card balance immediately after you use the card. Rather, wait for your statement to come and then pay the entire balance. That way, your payment history will improve your credit score.

Avoid closing accounts. Doing so can actually cause damage to your overall credit score. This is because you are actually subtracting from the total amount of credit you have, which then lowers the ratio between that and what you owe.

Avoid prepaid cards at all costs when looking for cards. This is nothing more than a debit card and won’t affect your credit rating. Lots of these cards charge extra fees too, and they are nothing more than a checking account really. By putting a deposit down to obtain a secured card, your credit score will begin to improve.

Close the account for any credit cards you know you will not be using. Keeping these open may cause you to become a victim to identity theft. You might also be forced to pay annual fees on something that you do not use.

It might be a little tempting to whip your card out to buy everything, but you should only use it for large purchases. Many retailers require a minimum purchase amount to use your credit card. Use credit cards for things that cost at least $10.

Be sure your kids take responsibility for their own credit cards. We all know that it’s hard to tell your kids no for anything, but when it comes to credit, they’re dealing with lifelong consequences. If children are not ready to repay their debts, then having a card should be out of the question.

It’s smart to notify a credit card issuer if you’ve used your card for abnormal purchases. If you want to make a large purchase, or have an international trip planned, let your card company know what to expect. If your card issuer is aware of these purchases ahead of time, it will keep them from suspecting fraudulent activity that could suspend use of the card.

Always keep in mind that nobody is entitled to a credit card, as they are indeed a privilege. Good credit goes hand-in-hand with smart credit card use. Make more than the minimum required payment each month, and go over your statement to verify all charges.

To protect yourself further from the possibility of credit card fraud, designate one card only that you use for online purchases. When you use multiple cards on the Internet, you can be vulnerable. Limit exposure by designating one card for that purpose.

Do not close all your credit accounts, leave one open to help build positive credit. The card with a good history and payment record should be left open. This will help build your credit.

There are a lot of financial pitfalls waiting out there for the unwary consumer; punitively high interest charged on credit card debt is certainly one of them! Hopefully, the advice in this article has showm you how you can wisely use your credit cards and given you the information that you need to help with your financial success.

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