Tips for Keeping Your Credit Cards in Control
When you have credit it becomes much too easy
to spend too much money on things you really don’t
need and then get yourself into financial trouble.
It’s important to remember that credit isn’t
free cash, it’s a very expensive loan which
must be paid back.
If you pay off the balance every month
Get cards with “grace periods”, no
interest charges for 25 days
Pay as soon as you get the billing statement
Only spend as much as you can pay back in full
Know your credit report
Know the difference between needs & wants
Shop around for the cheapest fees
If you must carry a balance;
Shop for low interest rate
Always pay when the statement arrives, this saves
on interest charges
Pay more than the minimum every month
Pay twice a month
Know the actual cost of the items you buy, if
you don’t pay off monthly that $5.00 burger
could end up costing you $50 or more.
Don’t spend to the end of your credit limit
save at least 30% or more for emergencies
Carefully inspect your statement every month
for errors and inconsistencies. If you discover
anything wrong immediately dispute it.
You don’t need lots of cards, just 2 or
3 should suffice, in this case more is not better,
it reflects negatively.
If you are working to clean up your credit:
- Don’t pay off your existing cards,
pay them down. Paying them off reflects negatively
on your score
- Don’t close too many cards at once.
This too reflects poorly
Check your credit report an make sure these
closures aren’t listed as “closed
by issuer”, if they do, contact reporting
bureau and card companies to repair.
Regularly get your credit report and review
it for inaccuracies and fraudulent use by someone
else. If you find any discrepancy, report and
correct the problems.