Some people view credit cards suspiciously, as if these pieces of plastic can magically destroy their finances without their consent. The truth is, however, credit cards are only dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. Read on to learn how to protect your credit if you are using credit cards.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
Make the minimum monthly payment in the very least on all of your credit cards. Not making the minimum payment on time can cost you a great deal of money over time. It can also cause harm to your credit rating. To protect both your expenses, and your credit rating be sure to make minimum payments on time each month.
If you are having any financial problems, make sure that you alert your credit card provider as soon as possible. If you’re going to miss a payment, the credit card company may agree to adjust your payment plan. This might prevent them reporting late payments to reporting agencies.
Only take cash advances from your credit card when you absolutely have to. The finance charges for cash advances are very high, and very difficult to pay off. Only use them for situations in which you have no other option. But you must truly feel that you will be able to make considerable payments on your credit card, soon after.
If you have a credit card account and do not want it to be shut down, make sure to use it. Credit card companies are closing credit card accounts for non-usage at an increasing rate. This is because they view those accounts to be lacking in profit, and therefore, not worth retaining. If you don’t want your account to be closed, use it for small purchases, at least once every three months.
If you are going to make purchases over the Internet you need to make all of them with the same credit card. You do not want to use all of your cards to make online purchases because that will increase the chances of you becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Only spend what you could afford to pay for in cash. The benefit of using a card rather than cash, or a debit card, is that it establishes credit, which you will need to get a loan in the future. By only spending what you can afford to pay for in cash, you will never get into debt that you can’t get out of.
The credit card that you use to make purchases is very important and you should try to use one that has a very small limit. This is good because it will limit the amount of funds that a thief will have access to.
Never apply for more credit cards than you actually need. It’s true that you need a few credit cards to help build your credit, but there is a point at which the amount of credit cards you have is actually detrimental to your credit score. Be mindful to find that happy medium.
Make sure your balance is manageable. If you charge more without paying off your balance, you risk getting into major debt. Interest makes your balance grow, which can make it difficult to get it caught up. Just paying your minimum due means you will be paying off the cards for many months or years, depending on your balance.
As you can see, credit cards don’t have any special power to harm your finances, and in fact, using them appropriately can help your credit score. After reading this article, you should have a better idea of how to use credit cards appropriately. If you need a refresher, reread this article to remind yourself of the good credit card habits that you want to develop.
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