Credit cards are a great way to build a solid personal credit history, but they can also cause significant turmoil and heartache when used unwisely. Knowledge is key, in terms of building a smart financial strategy that incorporates credit cards. Continue reading, in order to understand how best to utilize credit cards and secure financial well-being for the long term.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
Do not use your credit cards to make emergency purchases. Many people believe that this is the best use of credit cards, but the best use is actually for things that you purchase on a regular basis, like groceries. The key is, to only charge things that you will be able to pay back in a timely manner.
Lots of credit cards will offer bonuses simply for signing up. Make sure that you go over the fine print because a lot of these credit cards will have terms that are very specific on qualifying for bonuses. The most common is that you have to spend a certain amount of money within a few months, so be sure that you will actually meet the qualifications before you are tempted by the bonus offer.
If you find that you have spent more on your credit cards than you can repay, seek help to manage your credit card debt. It is easy to get carried away, especially around the holidays, and spend more than you intended. There are many credit card consumer organizations, that can help get you back on track.
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.
Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.
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.
Just about everyone has some experience with credit cards, though not every experience is positive. In order to ensure that you are using credit cards in a financially strategic manner, education is critical. Use the ideas and concepts in this piece to make certain that your financial future is bright.