Do you use a credit card? Do you know how much credit you have total? Do you know how much additional credit you have available to you? If you are unable to answer these second two questions, then you are probably not using credit responsibly, and it is time to learn more!
Carefully consider those cards that offer you a zero percent interest rate. It may seem very alluring at first, but you may find later that you will have to pay sky high rates down the road. Learn how long that rate is going to last and what the go-to rate will be when it expires.
Ensure you are always paying your credit card bill on time. You may have to pay large fees if you ignore the due date on your credit card statement. You will also be taking the chance that your creditors will raise your rate of interest, which will cost more later.
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!
If you are purchasing something at a retail location with a credit card, make sure that you never leave any spaces on the receipt blank. Having a blank space on your receipt is literally leaving space for someone to add an amount where you don’t want it. Be sure to mark through the space with a straight line. Keep a copy of the receipt so that you can verify that the amount on your statement matches it.
Consider unsolicited credit card offers very carefully before you accept them. If an offer that comes to you looks good, read all the fine print to make sure you understand the time limit for any introductory offers on interest rates. Also, be aware of fees that are required for transferring a balance to the account.
Never reveal your credit card account number over the phone to someone who has called you. Credit card thieves often contact people by telephone. Be sure to give you number only to businesses that you trust. Do not give them to people who call you. It does not matter who they say they are, you don’t know that they are being honest.
An important tip when it comes to smart credit card usage is, resisting the urge to use cards for cash advances. By refusing to access credit card funds at ATMs, you will be able to avoid the frequently exorbitant interest rates, and fees credit card companies often charge for such services.
Now, you should be better prepared to use a consumer credit card in the proper way. When used correctly, credit cards can be a great way to simplify your life, however, when you are irresponsible with credit cards, then they can quickly get out of hand and make your life very complicated.