Consumers need to be informed about how to take care of their financial future and understand the positives and negatives of having credit. Credit cards can either be an excellent tool for building your financial life or a huge liability that can wreak havoc on your finances. Read the following tips to learn how to manage credit responsibly and what to avoid.
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.
Do not apply for a new credit card before understanding all the fees and costs associated with its use, regardless of the bonuses it may provide. Read the fine print thoroughly, though, as the terms for qualifying for the bonus may be quite strict. One of the most common terms is that you spend a set amount of money in a set period.
Double check for annual fees when signing up for premium credit cards. Annual fees for platinum or black cards could be in the range of 0 to ,000 depending on the exclusivity of the card. Do not get an exclusive card if you don’t need one so you will not have to worry about these fees.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
Those of you who want a new card should keep their searches to those that have no annual fees and interest rates that are low. There are plenty of cards that don’t come with an annual fee, so getting one that does is foolish.
Live by a zero balance goal, or if you can’t reach zero balance monthly, then maintain the lowest balances you can. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control, so go into your credit relationship with the goal to always pay off your bill every month. This is especially important if your cards have high interest rates that can really rack up over time.
It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.
A great tip for saving on today’s high gas prices is to get a reward card from the grocery store where you do business. These days, many stores have gas stations, as well and offer discounted gas prices, if you sign up to use their customer reward cards. Sometimes, you can save up to twenty cents per gallon.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
As mentioned before, consumers often feel like they have no allies when it comes to credit card companies. Apply what you’ve just learned here, and be wiser about using your credit cards in the future.