Credit cards are a great convenience, but its a convenience that can and does get many people into trouble. Its important to be knowledgeable about the credit cards youre holding. This article outlines 5 rules that every card holder should live by.
1. Hold on to receipts
Its extremely important that you hold on to receipts when you purchase things on your credit card. When your bill comes in you have to double check that they match up. Once youve verified that the amount on the bill is the same, you can toss the receipts. If you dont save receipts, you have no way to check that you were billed correctly. If there is an error you will need your receipt to prove it.
2. Pay your bill on time
Some credit cards have a grace period, which means that you can pay your bill a few days late and not be hit with any interest changes. Its a good idea to just pay the bill by the due date, but if you ever need to use that grace period you should know exactly how many days it is. Not all credit cards are created equally so make sure that you know the specifics of each card.
3. Pay your bill in full
Just because youre given a minimum amount that you can pay on your bill, doesnt mean you should take advantage of it. Its important that you pay off each and every bill in full to avoid high interest charges and ruining your credit. Before your credit card statement arrives, you can keep track of how much youre spending through your receipts. Dont spend more than youll be able to pay off when the bill comes in.
4. Dont carry too many cards
Its not uncommon for people to carry a lot of credit cards. Since many stores offer their own that come with rewards when you use them, people usually get talked into buying them. If your main credit card has a reward that you actually use, its a good idea to use that one more than the others. It doesnt make very much sense to use a stores credit card if you only shop there once a month or even less. You wont rack up enough rewards for years. Use one main credit card to make it worth your while. Some people get into trouble by using too many credit cards and spending more than they can pay off.
5. Dont give anyone a secondary card
Unless you can afford to pay off whatever bill that the secondary card holder racks up, do not give anyone access to your credit card. Youve heard enough stories about people not paying on credit cards theyve been given or lent. You want to believe that the person you give a card to will pay the bill. They beg and plead and make promises. Remember that they wouldnt need your card if they could get one of their own. Your credit is yours to protect. If you lend someone a card and they spend more than either of you can afford to pay off, youre the one who will suffer. Dont take the risk.
Having a credit card can be a great thing if you know how to handle the responsibly. Before you start spending and using the card like its free money, its important to learn all you can about credit cards. Spending more than you can afford to pay can have repercussions that last a long time. If you handle a credit card correctly, it can benefit you in many great ways.
Sam Jones, the author, thinks that credit cards are completely essential to the way we live modern life. However, it can be easy to run into problems. Debt consolodition can be essential for some but there are other options you can emply. Comparison of options like those available with uswitch credit cards can help you avoid consolidation measures. As with all things be careful with your credit cards and try to avoid problems.
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