Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that it is okay to buy something, if you just put it on a credit card. Credit cards have lead us to have monumental amounts of personal debt, the likes of which have rarely been seen before. Get yourself out of this way of thinking by reading this article and seeing how credit cards affect you.
Don’t use cards to buy something that you cannot afford. While it is fine to use them for items you may afford later, you should avoid using credit to purchase big ticket items that you are going to run into problems paying for.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
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.
Know your credit history before applying for new cards. The new card’s credit limit and interest rate will depend on how bad or good your credit history is. Avoid any surprises by getting a report on your credit from each of the three credit agencies once a year. You can get it free once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com, a government-sponsored agency.
Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
It is vital that you cultivate a little financial discipline before you open up a credit card account. Some people have problems with spending more than they can afford. If you can’t resist using your credit card all the time, don’t get a card. When they open up a credit card account, they are prone to have a terrible financial future.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
Knowing the impact that credit cards really have on your life, is a good first step towards using them more wisely in the future. Often times, they are a necessary building block for good credit. However, they are overused and often, misunderstood. This article has attempted to clear up some of those confusing ideas and set the record straight.