Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
Consumers should shop around for credit cards before settling on one. Many different credit cards are available, each offering a different interest rate, annual fee, and some, even offering bonus features. By shopping around, an individual can find one that best meets their needs. They can also get the best deal when it comes to using their credit card.
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.
In terms of a retail store’s credit options, you should never get a card with them unless you’re a loyal, regular customer. When a retail store inquires about your credit prior to opening an account, that inquiry is recorded on your report whether you go through with opening a card or not. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
Make your credit payment before it is due so that your credit score remains high. Late payments involve fees and damage your credit. Set up a payment schedule that is automatic so that you can save some time as well as put some money back into your pockets.
If you are about to start a search for a new credit card, be sure to check your credit record first. Make sure your credit report accurately reflects your debts and obligations. Contact the credit reporting agency to remove old or inaccurate information. A little time spent upfront will net you the best credit limit and lowest interest rates that you may be eligible for.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.