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.
Whenever you see fraudulent charges on your statement, make a report right away. By doing this, you can help your credit card company catch the thief who is making these unauthorized charges. This is also the best way to make sure that you are not held responsible for these charges. Fraudulent charges could be reported through a phone call or through email to your card provider.
Make sure that you make your payments on time when you have a credit card. The extra fees are where the credit card companies get you. It is very important to make sure you pay on time to avoid those costly fees. This will also reflect positively on your credit report.
Late fees should be avoided as well as overlimit fees. Both fees are pretty expensive and can also affect your credit score. Watch your spending so you don’t exceed the credit limit.
Instead of just blindly applying for cards, hoping for approval, and letting credit card companies decide your terms for you, know what you are in for. One way to effectively do this is, to get a free copy of your credit report. This will help you know a ballpark idea of what cards you might be approved for, and what your terms might look like.
Be sure you check regularly to see if anything in your conditions and terms changes. Nowadays, many companies frequently change their terms and conditions. The statements that most apply to you are typically hidden within confusing words and phrases. Every time you receive a statement, read every single word of the language; the same goes for your initial contract and every other piece of literature received from the company.
Live by a zero balance goal, or if you can’t reach zero balance monthly, then maintain the lowest balances you can. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control, so go into your credit relationship with the goal to always pay off your bill every month. This is especially important if your cards have high interest rates that can really rack up over time.
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.