If you’re like many Americans, you’ve developed a bad habit of whipping out your credit card to pay for purchases and figuring out how to pay the bill later. This is not the right way to use credit. The good news is that with a little education, you can change the way you use your credit cards. Read on to find out what to do.
Be safe when giving out your credit card information. If you like to order things online with it, then you have to be sure the website is secure. If you notice charges that you didn’t make, call the customer service number for the credit card company. They can help deactivate your card and make it unusable, until they mail you a new one with a new account number.
Only open a credit card at a retail store if you shop there often. Every time you try to open a card, this action is recorded. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
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.
If you have multiple cards that have a balance on them, you should avoid getting new cards. Even if you are paying everything back on time, there is no reason for you to take the chance of getting another card and making your financial situation any more strained than it already is.
Do not use one credit card to pay off the amount owed on another until you check and see which one has the lowest rate. While this is never considered the best thing to do financially, you can occasionally do this to make sure you are not risking getting further into debt.
You must make a habit of paying credit card bills in a timely fashion. Every bill you receive will have a due date and failing to pay by then will result in penalties and costly fees. Card companies will give you a higher interest rate as well, increasing the cost of purchases made in the future.
Don’t automatically run out and get a bit of plastic as soon as you are of age. Though this is commonly done, it is important to educate yourself thoroughly on credit cards before jumping in. Before getting credit cards, give yourself a couple of months to learn to live a financially responsible lifestyle.
One important tip for all credit card users is to make a budget. Having a budget is a great way to figure out whether or not you can afford to buy something. If you can’t afford it, charging something to your credit card is just a recipe for disaster.
Now that you’ve read this article, you know there’s a lot more to responsible credit card use, than just abstaining from using credit altogether. Reform your credit card habits, using the tips you have just read, so that your use of credit cards can help improve your credit scores, instead of interfering with you having good credit.