Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
Keep a record of your credit card purchases to avoid creating more debt than you can pay for. Noting down your credit card expenditures on paper or a spreadsheet will make you less likely to start spending money you cannot afford to repay.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Remember that when you are dealing with a credit card company, their minimum payment structure is designed to keep you paying compounding interest for years and years to come. Whenever you can afford to, send in payments that exceed the minimum amount. Don’t get stuck paying high interest.
If you’re able to, always pay your credit card debt off in full every month. The use of a credit card offers a lot of convenience, but best used only if the balance is paid off each cycle. Using them will increase your credit rating and paying them off right away will help you avoid any finance fees.
Pay your minimum payment on time each month, to avoid more fees. If you can afford to, pay more than the minimum payment so that you can reduce the interest fees. Just be sure to pay the minimum amount before the due date.
Take the time to play around with numbers. Before you go out and put a pair of fifty dollar shoes on your credit card, sit with a calculator and figure out the interest costs. It may make you second-think the idea of buying those shoes that you think you need.
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.