Do you use a credit card? Do you know how much credit you have total? Do you know how much additional credit you have available to you? If you are unable to answer these second two questions, then you are probably not using credit responsibly, and it is time to learn more!
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.
To make the best decision regarding the best credit card for you, compare what the interest rate is amongst several credit card options. If a card has a high interest rate, it means that you will pay a higher interest expense on your card’s unpaid balance, which can be a real burden on your wallet.
Be aware of the interest rate that you are being charged. This is especially true before signing up for a new card, so read the fine print or ask the right questions to determine the interest rate you would be paying with the card. If you are unaware of the number, you might pay a great deal more than you anticipated. If the interest rate is too high, you might find yourself carrying a bigger and bigger balance over each month.
If you have multiple cards that have a balance on them, you should avoid getting new cards. Even if you are paying everything back on time, there is no reason for you to take the chance of getting another card and making your financial situation any more strained than it already is.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
Do not depend on your credit card for buying things that you truly cannot afford. A credit card isn’t the magical solution to getting the flat screen TV or new computer that you have always wanted. It costs a lot of interest, and that makes monthly payments pretty much impossible. Make decisions only after thinking them over for a couple of days. If you are dead set on buying the item, ask the store if they can beat your credit card’s interest rate.
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.
Now, you should be better prepared to use a consumer credit card in the proper way. When used correctly, credit cards can be a great way to simplify your life, however, when you are irresponsible with credit cards, then they can quickly get out of hand and make your life very complicated.