How To Become A Credit Card Super User
[Image used from Flickr]
Learning how to use credit cards sensibly is, quite frankly, the only way to play the game. Many people get over-excited at having the prospect of some extra money available, but it can lead to serious problems that can affect them for many years.
Make sure you know what you are doing with these essential tips, and ensure your relationship with credit doesn’t turn sour.
Choose The Right Card
Never get sucked into signing up for a credit card offer that you have received in the post, or that has been served up as an ad on the Internet. You need to research all of your options, and it is unlikely that the first offer you hear about will be the best choice for you.
There are many things to think about, including interest rates, fees and charges, and reward schemes. Head over to our article on choosing the right card for more info.
Always Check Your Credit Score
You should always keep track of your credit rating. Checking your file with Equifax, Transunion, and Experian will give you a very good indication of whether you are using your card responsibly or not.
You can be scored down if you don’t use enough, but it can be worse if you use too much. There’s always a sweet spot that will have a positive effect, and learning what that is will help you manage all of your lines of credit. Got bad credit? Services like http://www.creditmarvel.com can help you repair the damage you have done.
Never Max Your Credit Limit
Part of your credit score is based on the ratio of how much you have spent against how much you have available to spend. If you don’t want to get a negative rating, keep that gap nice and big.
Most people believe that using all their available credit will be good for their rating. But credit bureaus like to see a small amount of credit regularly used and will reward your score.
Read The T&Cs
Your credit card’s terms and conditions will be presented in what seems to be reams of paperwork. It is your responsibility to read through all of it. You need to make yourself aware of every single aspect of your contract to ensure you know what you are dealing with.
This will include Annual percentage rate (APR), introductory rates, and your interest-free period. You should also consider fees and default charges. It’s complicated and dull stuff, sure. But it will save you from problems.
Switch At The End Of An Interest Deal
Jumping from one free interest account to another free interest account isn’t something that lenders like you to do. But there is nothing to stop you. Once your interest-free period is up, you should think about switching straight away.
There are charges to pay, but these will be added to your loan, and you won’t notice them. And when that period is up? Just switch again. If your credit score is good enough, you can continue this practice for as long as you like.
Are you a credit card super user? We’d love for you to share your tips…