Credit cards are almost a necessity of modern life, but the easy credit that they offer can get many people in trouble. Knowing how to use credit cards responsibly is a key part of your financial education. The tips in this article will help make sure that you do not abuse your credit cards.
Consumers should shop around for credit cards before settling on one. Many different credit cards are available, each offering a different interest rate, annual fee, and some, even offering bonus features. By shopping around, an individual can find one that best meets their needs. They can also get the best deal when it comes to using their credit card.
Don’t use cards to buy something that you cannot afford. While it is alright to use them to pay for something you can afford at a later date, you should not buy a big-ticket item that you will have a problem paying for.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Read the fine print. Get every last detail from anyone who is offering you a credit card. Find out what your interest rate is and the amount of you time you get to pay it. Remember to check out any grace periods and finance charges involved, too.
You should always try to negotiate the interest rates on your credit cards instead of agreeing to any amount that is always set. If you get a lot of offers in the mail from other companies, you can use them in your negotiations, to try to get a much better deal.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
Never let anyone borrow your credit cards. Even though a good friend might have a need, it is never a good decision to lend it to anyone. This can lead to excessive charges, over the limit fees, and other problems if your friend happens to charge more than they should.
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. Your best friends 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!
Having access to credit makes it much easier to manage your finances, but as you have seen, you need to do so with care. It is all too easy to over-extend yourself with your credit cards. Keep the tips you have learned from this article in mind, so that you can be a responsible credit card user.