Read on to learn some ideas you can use to make sure that your credit cards stay a friendly part of your life.
Cash or card?
When you open your wallet/purse to pay for petrol, choices for payment are usually cash, debit, or credit. Cash means running inside the store, and waiting in line. Debit can mean triggering ridiculous banks fees. Using your credit card can mean an interest free loan until the bill arrives, making it a common choice. When it comes to credit cards, you may think that you do not need one since you frequently pay with cash. While this is a great practice, you may want to consider using your credit card and just paying it off each month before interest rates are applied. This is good because it will show that you are a responsible person with your finances and allow you to borrow money in the future if needed.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have the 'https' heading the URL (the website address bar) instead of 'http'. If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
Avoid the temptation to take out loans on your credit cards. It may seem to be the only way to get something paid for, but you should look into other options. Many financial advisers will tell you to avoid this practice and there is good reason for it - It could severely cost you your credit ratings later. It is a good idea to avoid walking around with any credit cards on you that already have a large balance. If the card balance is zero or very close to it, then that is a better idea. Walking around with a card with a large balance will only tempt you to use it and make things worse. When it comes to your credit card, it is important to know that your performance on other cards can actually affect your APR on your current card. If your credit card company decides that you are a high risk due to failure to pay other accounts on time, they may increase your APR without you knowing about it in advance. Although convenient, credit cards can be dangerous and damaging if used incorrectly.
Information is key
Learn how to manage your credit card online. Most credit card companies now have online resources where you can oversee your daily credit actions. These resources give you more power than you have ever had before over your credit, including, knowing very quickly, whether your identity has been compromised. Read, understand and memorise the terms and conditions of each and every credit card you have. Know what the interest rate is, as well as, what each fee is and have the payment and billing cycles marked on your calendar. Doing this means there will be no surprises when it comes to your card.
Try setting up a monthly, automatic payment for your credit cards, in order to avoid late fees. The amount you need for your payment can be automatically withdrawn from your bank account and it will take the worry out of getting your monthly payment in on time. Bear in mind that if you have a credit card that has a £1,000 balance and you pay only the minimum payment each month, it will take you between 20 and 30 years to pay off that £1,000 balance since the majority of money is going strictly toward the interest and not the principal amount.
Be sure to apply what you have learned from this article, to make sure that your credit cards stay a convenience, and not a stressful hassle in your life.
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