Having credit cards requires discipline. When used mindlessly, you can run up huge bills on nonessential expenses, in the blink of an eye. However, properly managed, credit cards can mean good credit scores and rewards. Read on for some ideas on how to pick up some good habits, so that you can make sure that you use your cards and they do not use you.
When it comes to credit cards, always try to spend no more than you can pay off at the end of each billing cycle. By doing this, you can help to avoid high interest rates, late fees and other such financial pitfalls. This is also a great way to keep your credit score high.
Be sure to limit the number of credit cards you hold. Having too many credit cards with balances can do a lot of harm to your credit. Many people think they would only be given the amount of credit that is based on their earnings, but this is not true.
Only open retail store cards if you shop there on a regular basis. When stores submit an inquiry into your credit history for a card, this gets reported on your credit report whether or not you ultimately get the card. If you have too many inquiries from stores, this can negatively affect your credit score.
When making purchases with your credit cards you should stick to buying items that you need instead of buying those that you want. Buying luxury items with credit cards is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. If it is something that you can live without you should avoid charging it.
Know the interest rate you are getting. It’s vital that you know what the interest rate is before signing up for a credit card. Without a clear understanding of the interest charges, your bills could rise unexpectedly. This may result in your inablilty to pay off your credit cards monthly.
Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much!
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.
Do not use credit cards to buy items that you cannot afford. Even though you really want that new flat-screen television, credit cards are not necessarily the smartest way to purchase it. It costs a lot of interest, and that makes monthly payments pretty much impossible. Go home to mull it over for a couple of days and then reach a rational decision. Then, if you decide to purchase it, you may be able to get low interest rates through in-house financing.
Students who have credit cards, should be particularly careful of what they use it for. Most students do not have a large monthly income, so it is important to spend their money carefully. Charge something on a credit card if, you are totally sure you will be able to pay your bill at the end of the month.
Having the right habits and proper behaviors, takes the risk and stress out of credit cards. If you apply what you have learned from this article, you can use them as tools towards a better life. Otherwise, they can be a temptation that you will eventually succumb to and then regret it.