Some people view credit cards suspiciously, as if these pieces of plastic can magically destroy their finances without their consent. The truth is, however, credit cards are only dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. Read on to learn how to protect your credit if you are using credit cards.
In terms of a retail store’s credit options, you should never get a card with them unless you’re a loyal, regular customer. Every time you try to open a card, this action is recorded. Repeated applications for credit could negatively affect your overall credit score.
It is very easy to mishandle credit card usage. Debt is not always avoidable, but many people overcharge, which results in payments that they cannot afford. Ideally, you should pay off your balance in full every month. Doing this ensures you are using your credit, while maintaining a low balance and also raising your credit score.
To help you get the maximum value from your credit card, choose a card which provides rewards based on the amount of money you spend. Many credit card rewards programs will give you up to two percent of your spending back as rewards which can make your purchases much more economical.
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.
An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.
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.
If you have several credit cards with balances on each, consider transferring all of your balances to one, lower-interest credit card. Almost everyone gets mail from various banks offering low or even zero balance credit cards if you transfer your current balances. These lower interest rates usually last for 6 months or a year. You can save a lot of interest and have one lower payment each month!
As you can see, credit cards don’t have any special power to harm your finances, and in fact, using them appropriately can help your credit score. After reading this article, you should have a better idea of how to use credit cards appropriately. If you need a refresher, reread this article to remind yourself of the good credit card habits that you want to develop.