Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible.
In order to keep your spending under control, make a record of the purchases that you make with your credit card. If you don’t, you may forget how much money you have already spent on your card- write it down!
Watch your balance carefully. You should also be sure to know that you are aware of the limit that your creditor has given you. If you inadvertently go over your credit limit, you will either be heavily penalized or your credit card will be blocked. Furthermore, it will take you much longer to clear your credit card balance if you continually exceed the credit limit.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
Carefully consider those cards that offer you a zero percent interest rate. It may seem very alluring at first, but you may find later that you will have to pay sky high rates down the road. Learn how long that rate is going to last and what the go-to rate will be when it expires.
Understand the credit card agreement before you use that card. A lot of credit card places think of your first purchase as your agreement to their terms. Although some of this agreement may be in fine print, it is very important to thoroughly read all sections.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
If you are not satisfied with the high interest rate on your credit card, but aren’t interested in transferring the balance somewhere else, try negotiating with the issuing bank. You can sometimes get a lower interest rate if you tell the issuing bank that you are considering transferring your balances to a different credit card that offers low-interest transfers. They may lower your rate in order to keep your business!
Anytime you apply for a credit card, you should always familiarize yourself with the terms of service that comes along with it. This will allow you to know what you can and cannot use your card for, as well as, any fees that you might possibly incur in different situations.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts.
citibank.com/activate and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
Use a credit card to pay for a recurring monthly expense that you already have budgeted for. Then, pay that credit card off each and every month, as you pay the bill. Doing this will establish credit with the account, but you don’t have to pay any interest, if you pay the card off in full each month.
After reading this article, you should feel better prepared to deal with all types of credit card situations. When you properly inform yourself, you don’t need to fear credit any longer. Credit is a tool, not a prison, and it should be used in just such a way at all times.