Reading Credit Card Statements
Credit cards offer perks, such as vacation points, to those who use them wisely. If you use your cards unwisely, you will come home from your vacation to find an enormous bill waiting for you. If you would like to be among the first camp, read on for some ideas on how to get the best credit cards and use the ones you have wisely.
If you see any suspicious charges to your credit card, call your credit card company right away. This will help your creditor catch the person who is using your card fraudulently. This will help ensure you are not liable for any fraudulent charges against the card. To report any unauthorized charges to your card, either call or email your credit card issuer.
Keep a close eye on your balance. In addition, you should ensure you know the limit your creditor has provided you. Exceeding the limit will result in significant fees. It is going to take longer to pay down the balance if you keep exceeding your limit.
Pay all of your credit cards when they are due. You may have to pay large fees if you ignore the due date on your credit card statement. Plus, many companies will increase your interest rate, making all of your purchases in the future cost you even more.
Do not buy anything online with a credit card until you are certain that it is a legitimate business. Call phone numbers given on the website to ensure they’re working, and do not purchase from a seller that doesn’t have an actual address listed.
Watch your own credit score. Most credit card issuers want borrowers with credit scores of 700 or above. Use credit cards in a smart way to keep that level of credit or to reach it. Keeping your score at 700 or better gives you the chance to take advantage of offers for the lowest interest rates.
Once you decide to open a credit card account, keep it open. You don’t want to go to a different account. This should happen only when you really need to. The length of your history with a creditor is one factor in your credit score. Keeping accounts open whenever possible is one element of building a good credit history.
Become familiar with all of the new consumer credit laws enacted over the past few years. As an example, newer laws prohibit credit card companies from making any rate increases retroactive. Also, double cycle billing is prohibited. Research the relevant laws. To find out more, look for information on the CARD and Fair Credit Billing Acts.
Never lie about your income to get a card with a higher limit. Sometimes, a credit card company won’t verify your income, and give you a limit that is more than you can afford. This is a very quick way to get into a large amount of debt.
If you have had a secured card that has stayed in good standing for awhile, a company may be willing to offer you a credit card that is unsecured. If you’re a loyal customer who pays on time, the company may start mailing you unsecured applications. This is the perfect time to re-think your credit cards needs.
Once you’ve closed your account, destroy your card and related information. If you just toss it aside, it may end up being used fraudulently by someone else.
Check old credit card accounts and try closing any that aren’t in use. By closing unused accounts, you can ensure that those account are not vulnerable to fraudulent use. It is possible to close accounts that have balances, as well. You will, however, be responsible for paying off the remaining balance on the card.
Write yourself a quick note reminding you of your credit card spendings. Doing so helps to visualize the total amount you have spent. We often end up spending way too much before we know it, when this could have been prevented by self-monitoring.
If you want to hang onto a credit card, make sure that you use it. Many companies close accounts that are inactive for too long. Use your cards frequently to ensure that your accounts will not be closed. Remember, paying in a timely manner will avoid debt and higher interest rates.
Keep monitoring your credit report and score to see how you are doing handling your accounts. That will also assist you in monitoring how others are maintaining your accounts. Check for reporting mistakes. If there’s one, talk to the credit bureau and the card company.
It is inadvisable to pay a credit card’s balance with a different credit card. If you find yourself in financial trouble, do not get cash from one credit card to pay the minimum payment for another card. However, the interest rates and fees involved with this supposed trick is really just creating an even bigger emergency disaster the next month.
Ask for reduced fees and interest rates if you ever miss a particular payment or if you pay it late. If you are late with your payment, the credit companies can and will raise your rates and tack on extra fees. You can reduce these charges if you contact your card company.
You shouldn’t be scared of paying off one credit card with a different one, providing that the card your paying with has lower interest rates and fees. Aside from interest rates, a different card might offer better rewards that you can claim later. Remember to take the time to evaluate the pluses and minuses before doing a balance transfer.
Don’t always pass over your debit card for a credit card just because it offers airline points and rewards. Building a heavy debt on one card to earn points or rewards may get you free flights. However, you may also end up with high interest charges.
Even cards which don’t offer rewards can still help you. Using a card unwisely in any circumstance is going to lead to long-term problems. It’s not hard to stay on top of your credit, but it will require knowledge and dedication. Use what you’ve learned in this article to use your credit wisely.