Credit cards can help you to build credit, and manage your money wisely, when used in the correct manner. There are many available, with some offering better options than others. This article contains some useful tips that can help credit card users everywhere, to choose and manage their cards in the correct manner, leading to increased opportunities for financial success.
Pay your entire balance every month if you can. Ideally, credit cards should only be used as a convenience and paid in full before the new billing cycle begins. When you keep balances off your cards, you avoid interest and other finance charges. Making use of the cards helps build up your credit score, too.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
Pay your minimum payment on time each month, to avoid more fees. If you can afford to, pay more than the minimum payment so that you can reduce the interest fees. Just be sure to pay the minimum amount before the due date.
Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
Make sure you are consistently using your card. You do not have to use it frequently, but you should at least be using it once a month. While the goal is to keep the balance low, it only helps your credit report if you keep the balance low, while using it consistently at the same time.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
Try setting up a monthly, automatic payment for your credit cards, in order to avoid late fees. The amount you need for your payment can be automatically withdrawn from your bank account and it will take the worry out of getting your monthly payment in on time. It can also save money on stamps!
Keep track of what you are purchasing with your card, much like you would keep a checkbook register of the checks that you write. It is far too easy to spend spend spend, and not realize just how much you have racked up over a short period of time.
Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
Limit the number of active credit cards you have, in order to avoid getting into debt. It’s much easier to manage your finances with fewer cards and to limit excessive spending. Ignore all the offers you might be receiving, tempting you into getting more cards and letting your spending get too far out of control.
Keep multiple credit card accounts open. Having multiple credit cards will keep your credit score healthy, as long as you pay on them consistently. The key to keeping a healthy credit score with multiple credit cards is to use them responsibly. If you do not, you could end up hurting your credit score.
If you are a parent make sure your child is financially responsible before allowing them to have a credit card. It isn’t easy to admit that a child isn’t responsible enough to get a credit card, but allowing an irresponsible child to develop bad spending habits can lead to disaster.
Stay away from pre-approved offers from credit card companies. Remember, it is not the credit card companies responsibility to find the best card for you, it is their job to sign up as many people as possible. Using whatever marketing techniques they can. The pre-approved offers sound tempting, but they tend to include extremely high interest rates.
Credit cards can be wonderful tools that lead to financial success, but in order for that to happen, they must be used correctly. This article has provided credit card users everywhere, with some helpful advice. When used correctly, it will help individuals to avoid credit card pitfalls, and instead allow them to use their cards in a smart way, leading to an improved financial situation.