applying for your first credit card or thinking of getting one
of those gold or platinum cards offered by most banks and other
credit card issuers, here
are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Your credit card behavior is tracked by lenders
and reported to national bureaus to create a credit history.
Thats why its important for you to develop good habits with
credit cards and avoid the bad ones. By using credit, they are
actually committing a part of their future income to make
payments on the debt. The best way to avoid credit problems is
to be disciplined when using them.
payments on time. Be aware of the monthly payment due date and pay in time for
your payment to be delivered. Its the day your payment is
received that counts - not the postmark date. Give the post
office sufficient time (five business days is a good rule of
thumb) to deliver your mail. Late payments may mean late fees,
higher interest, and/or a negative mark on your credit report.
If you missed the due date because of an uncontrollable
situation, call your card issuer (VISA, Mastercard, etc) before
your mail your payment and ask for extending the due date; it
works in many cases.
the card issuer before problem occurs. Call your issuer
right away if you cant make a payment. Many times you can work
out a payment arrangement, either directly with the issuer or
through a counseling agency.
your payment as early as possible if you carry a balance. If
you carry a balance (secured credit card or unsecured credit
card), send in your payment as soon as possible after your
receive the bill. Most issuers calculate interest on a daily
basis, so he sooner the bank receives, the less interest you
Monitor your bills and compare them to your budget every month,
making spending adjustments when necessary. In general, your
total monthly debt should not exceed 36 percent of your monthly
income. Using your credit cards wisely will help you keep your
debt within manageable limits. Preparing for planned and
unexpected expenses is the best way to guarantee that your
credit history remains strong over time.
unnecessary credit accounts. Too many credit cards can hurt
your financial reputation, even if you don't use them even if the
card is a Gold Credit Card, Platinum Credit Card, or Business
Credit Card. If you apply for a mortgage or personal loan, the
unused credit cards can affect your chances because lenders look
at your "available credit," whether its used or not,
when determining whether or not you are overextended.
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