Credit cards can be a wonderful financial tool that enables us to make online purchases or buy things that we wouldn't otherwise have the cash on hand for. Smart consumers know how to best use credit cards without getting in too deep, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that's really easy to do with credit cards. Keep reading for some solid advice on how to best use your credit cards.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
When free credit card numbers are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
Pay all of your credit cards when they are due. Your credit card payments have a date that they are due by and ignoring them will cost you additional fees. You may also have to pay more interest on future purchases if you engage in this behavior.
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
Pay off as much of your balance as you can each month. The more you owe the credit card company each month, the more you will pay in interest. If you pay even a small amount in addition to the minimum payment each month, you can save yourself a great deal of interest each year.
Be sure to avoid using a public computer to make online purchases. Public computers at libraries, cafes and other places, may store your private information, making it easy for a technically savvy thief to gain access. If you use these types of computers, you are setting yourself up. Use only your own computer at home for any and all purchases.
If you ever have a charge on your card that is an error on the credit card company's behalf, you can get the charges taken off. The way you do this is by sending them the date of the bill and what the charge is. You are protected from these things by the Fair Credit Billing Act.
When you are looking for secured cards to improve your credit standing, avoid prepaid cards. These are debit cards, not credit cards, so credit bureaus do not receive reports from them. Prepaid debit cards do little for you besides provide you with an additional checking account, and many prepaid debit companies charge high fees. Place a deposit and get a proper secured credit card which will report to all major credit bureaus and raise your credit score.
Every month, carefully review your credit company statements. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and duplicate or inaccurate charges. Call your credit card company's dispute resolution hotline immediately if you find something wrong with your statement. This can help to prevent you from paying too much and it might just save your credit score too.
As stated previously, credit cards can be quite useful, but they can also hurt us when we don't use them right. Hopefully, this article has given you some sensible advice and useful tips on the best way to use your credit cards and manage your financial future, with as few mistakes as possible!