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.

Late fees should be avoided as well as overlimit fees. Both are usually pretty high, and both can affect your credit report. Be vigilant and pay attention so you don’t go over the credit limit.

If you run into financial difficulty, let your credit card company know. Companies will sometimes set up payment plans for their customers. This communication may keep the company from filing a late payment report with creditreporting agencies.

When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.

Pay off as much of your balance as you can each month. The more you owe the credit card company each month, the more you will pay in interest. If you pay even a small amount in addition to the minimum payment each month, you can save yourself a great deal of interest each year.

Many companies advertise that you can transfer balances over to them and carry a lower interest rate. This sounds appealing, but you need to carefully consider your options. Think about it. If a company consolidates a higher amount of money onto one card and then the interest rate spikes, you are going to have a hard time making that payment. Know all the terms and conditions, and be careful.

If you ever have a charge on your card that is an error on the credit card company’s behalf, you can get the charges taken off. The way you do this is by sending them the date of the bill and what the charge is. You are protected from these things by the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Keep one low-limit card in your wallet for emergency expenses only. All other cards should be kept at home, to avoid impulse buys that you can’t really afford. If you need a card for a large purchase, you will have to knowingly get it from your home and take it with you. This will give you extra time to think about what you are buying.

It goes without saying, perhaps, but always pay your credit cards on time. To be able to follow this simple rule, do not charge more than you afford to pay in cash. Credit card debt can quickly balloon out of control, especially, if the card carries a high interest rate. Otherwise, you will find that you cannot follow the simple rule of paying on time.

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.