Credit cards can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With just a little attention or energy, you can go out on a shopping spree that ruins you financially for months or maybe even, rack enough points for airline tickets to Europe.
How to make the most out of your credit cards?
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
If you have not yet established your own credit history, a co-signer can help you get your first credit card. A friend that you trust, a parent, sibling or anyone else with established credit can be a co-signer. A co-signer states they are willing to be responsible for the debt if you default. This method is a smart way to help build your credit with a first credit card.
Monitor and look for changes on terms and conditions. In today’s age, credit card companies often change their conditions and terms more often than they used to. Often, there will be changes buried in the small print. Make certain you review all changes so that you know how they may impact your finances.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
If you’re not happy with the interest rate that you are being charged, ask the bank if they can change it. You may need to look for a card with a better rate if your bank won’t cooperate with your request. Switch your balance to the lower rate card. This will save you a significant amount of money.
Avoid the temptation to take out loans on your credit cards. It may seem to be the only way to get something paid for, but you must look into other options. Many financial advisers will tell you this and there is a reason for it. It could cost you your credit ratings later.
If you have made the poor decision of taking out a cash loan on your credit card, be sure to pay it off as soon as possible. Making a minimum payment on this kind of loan is a big mistake. Pay the minimum on other cards, if it means you can pay this debt off faster.
It is a good idea to avoid walking around with any credit cards on you that already have a balance. If the card balance is zero or very close to it, then that is a better idea. Walking around with a card with a large balance will only tempt you to use it and make things worse.
Never allow yourself to open too many credit card accounts. Instead, find two or three that really work for you and stick to those. Having too many credit cards can harm your credit and it makes using money that you do not have that much easier. Stick to a couple cards and you will remain safe.
If you can’t pay your credit card balance in full each month, be sure to make at least double the minimum payment until it is paid off. Paying only the minimum will keep you trapped in escalating interest payments for years. Doubling down on the minimum will help to ensure you get out from the debt as soon as possible. Most importantly, stop using your credit cards for anything but emergencies until the existing debt is paid off.
Shop around for different credit cards. Interest rates and other terms tend to vary greatly. There are also various types of cards, such as cards that are secured which require a deposit to cover charges that are made. Make sure you know what kind of card you are signing up for, and what you’re being offered. As was mentioned earlier, credit cards can accelerate your life. This can happen towards piles of debt or rewards that lead to dream vacations. To properly manage your credit cards, you must manage yourself and intentions towards them. Apply what you have read in this article to make the most of your cards.