There can be no doubt that credit cards have the potential to be either useful financial vehicles or dangerous temptations that undermine your financial future. In order to make credit cards work for you, it is important to understand how to use them intelligently. Keep these tips in mind, and a solid financial future can be yours.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
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.
Paying your credit card bill on time is one of the most important factors in your credit score. Paying your bill late can cost you both in the form of late fees and in the form of a reduced credit score. Therefore, you should aim to set up a payment schedule that pays automatically with a bank or your card company in order to save both time and money.
Credit cards are often essential for young people or couples. Even if you don’t feel comfortable holding a large amount of credit, it is important to actually have a credit account and have some activity running through it. Opening and using a credit account helps you to build your credit score.
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.
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.
Leave no blank space or room for anyone to write anything when you sign a credit card receipt. If the receipt includes a tip line and you aren’t leaving a tip, draw a line in the tip space. If you do not you take the chance of an employee writing in an amount themselves. You should also check your statements to ensure your purchases actually match the ones that are on your monthly statement.
Credit cards can offer convenience, flexibility and control when used appropriately. If you want to understand the role credit cards can play in a smart financial plan, you need to take the time to research the topic thoroughly. The advice in this piece offers a great starting point for building a secure financial profile.