Whenever you use a credit card, you are taking on a large degree of personal responsibility. All debts need to be paid eventually, so you should take care when using your credit cards.
Here are some tips for what you can do to ensure a good experience as a credit card user.
- Use Balance Alerts to Keep Tabs on your Account
It’s very easy to forget about numbers that aren’t frequently in front of your face. Credit card balances are one piece of information that you want to manage carefully. By signing up for email or SMS balance alerts or notifications, you can be reminded when you use a credit card or approach limits.
- Check Your Credit Score
If you use a credit card, you will have a credit score of some kind which will affect what lines of credit are available to you and at what rates. This is something that banks will be particularly interested in before they lend you hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home mortgage.
If you check your credit score then you know if making another purchase is acceptable or if you need to work on making payments to rebuild or continue to build your credit.
- Get a Credit Card that also works as Debit
It’s best to maintain a low balance on your credit cards and one way to do that is to minimize usage. If you can find a credit card that also allows you to use debit with your bank account, then you can pay for many purchases with the money in your checking account. There still might be times when you need something now and the credit line is there for that, but having a debit card helps keep it in check.
- Read the Fine Print
If a card says that there is 0% APR for the first year with no annual fee, then you’ve got to wonder how the company behind the card is making money. Credit cards basically work as micro loans on-demand, so the profit needs to come from somewhere. What happens after the promotional period ends? Are there any hidden fees?
What does the interest rate jump up to down the road? By reading the fine print, you can be clear about these parts of the agreement before you sign up. This is also good for choosing the best card out there for you.
- Always Make Your Payments on Time
This tip could apply to any debts you have any person or company. Just like you don’t want to be late to work, you don’t want to be late on missing your payments. This makes you look untrustworthy and it will reflect on your credit reports.
Furthermore, many credit card companies will start considering you high risk and boost your interest rate up if you start missing payments. By making payments all the time, you earn a good credit score and reap the benefits of being a reliable credit card user.