Is it possible to use credit cards responsibly, or do you feel as though they are only for the fiscally brash? If you believe that it is impossible to use a credit card in a healthy manner, you are mistaken. This article has some great tips on responsible credit usage.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Never close a credit account until you understand how it affects your credit history. Sometimes closing a card can have a negative affect on your credit, so you should avoid doing so. It is important that you keep your oldest credit cards open, as they account for your credit history.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Don’t pay any fees upfront when you are getting a credit card. The legitimate card issuers will not ask for any money up front, unless you’re getting a secured credit card. When you are applying for a secured card, be sure to find out how the deposit is going to be used.
If you lose your job, let the card company know. If there is a possibility that you may have to miss one payment, by contacting the company that issued your credit card, you might be able to work out some sort of adjusted payment plan. That may cause them to hold off reporting you to the credit agencies as being late.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
Credit cards are often essential for young people or couples. Even if you don’t feel comfortable holding a large amount of credit, it is important to actually have a credit account and have some activity running through it. Opening and using a credit account helps you to build your credit score.
Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.
It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.
Don’t forget the things you learned in this article, and you are well on your way to having a healthier financial life which includes responsible credit use. Each of these tips are very useful on their own, but when used in conjunction, you will find your credit health improving significantly.