Credit card usage is an almost universal fact of modern life. There can be no denying that credit cards represent a degree of convenience and flexibility that is hard to beat. However, the key to smart credit card utilization is knowledge. By reading the ideas in this piece, it is possible to acquire the breadth of understanding necessary to make wise financial decisions.
Read the small print. Always get the full details before signing up for a pre-approved card. It’s very important to understand what interest rates and payment schedules you’ll be dealing with. Inquire about grace periods for payments and if there are any additional fees involved.
Take advantage of the fact that you can get a free credit report yearly from three separate agencies. Make sure to get all three of them, so that you can be sure there is nothing going on with your credit cards that you may have missed. There may be something reflected on one that was not on the others.
Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.
It may be unwise to obtain credit cards immediately upon reaching the age of eligibility. Although this might be what most people do, you might need a few months to understand the basics of the credit industry before you use credit cards. Get a little bit of adult experience under your belt before making the leap.
Anytime you apply for a credit card, you should always familiarize yourself with the terms of service that comes along with it. This will allow you to know what you can and cannot use your card for, as well as, any fees that you might possibly incur in different situations.
Use caution when using your credit cards online. When applying or doing anything with credit cards online, always verify that the website you are on is secure. A secure site keeps your credit card information safe. In addition, do not respond to email requests for credit card data; they are not legitimate.
Have a running list with credit card account numbers and lender’s emergency contact phone numbers. Make sure it is in a secure location, like a lock box that does not contain other credit cards. If you were to get robbed or lose your cards, this list can come in handy.
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.
Few people are totally unfamiliar with credit cards, as they are a staple in almost everyone’s financial lives. The lynchpin of smart, strategic utilization of credit cards, however, is a complete understanding of the ways in which they work. Keep the concepts in this article close at hand, and you will have the tools necessary to craft a responsible, prosperous financial plan using your credit cards.