What kinds of feelings come to mind when you hear the words “credit cards?” If you are like many other Americans, you probably feel anxious and nervous when you hear these two words put together. This fear and anxiety will pass, however, as soon as you arm yourself with proper information.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Speak with the credit card company right after you see a charge on your statement that you did not make. If you do this, your credit card company will have a good chance of tracking down the thief. This will help ensure you are not liable for any fraudulent charges against the card. Most fraudulent charges can be reported with a quick phone call or email to your credit card company.
Carefully read the terms. Know all of the details if you are offered a pre-approved card of if someone helps you to get a card. Know how much your interest rate will be and how long you’ll have to pay it. Be sure to also find out about grace periods and fees.
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.
When you purchase items on the Internet using your credit card, ensure you retain a copy of all the transaction records relating to it. Hold onto the receipt until you get your bill to make sure that the company you purchased from charged you the correct amount. If they mis-charged you, first contact the company, and if they do not fix it, file a dispute with your credit company. This can help you to be sure that you never overpay for the items that you purchase.
If you make credit card purchases online, do not do so from a public computer. Your important information will end up stored on the computers. By placing your information on public computers, you are inviting trouble into your life. Use only your own computer at home for any and all purchases.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
How do you feel about credit cards now? Do you feel more confident on how to use them? If so, then great, but if not, that simply means you need to continue educating yourself. By learning all that you can about credit cards, you will feel better about using them.