When it comes to your credit card, understanding the best way to use it can make the difference between protecting your credit and winding up in deeper debt. While the mechanics of using a credit card are fairly simple, it is also very easy to wind up with a considerable amount of debt that may take you years to pay off if you are not careful.
Worse, with the rise in cybercrime protecting your personal information is now more important than ever. This is especially true when thieves are looking to steal the money from your credit card which may ruin your financial standing. However, there are some simple tips that you can follow which will not only keep your credit card information safe, but also keep your credit score high as well.
Five Tips to Using Credit Cards Correctly
Pay Off Your Debt: The sooner you take action to fully pay off your credit card debt, the less you will have to pay in the long run. You should go over your credit cards and pay off the ones that charge the highest interest first while making lesser payments on lower interest cards. Transferring your balance from a higher interest card to a lower one may save you hundreds of dollars or more when paying it off as well.
Security: While credit card companies are becoming more proactive about security thanks to the new EMV chip cards that will be far harder to counterfeit than the magnetic strip, you can also be more proactive as well in protecting your credit card information.
Monitor Your Credit Report: You should make it a habit to check your credit report on a regular basis. Any unusual or mysterious activity can be spotted more easily when you check frequently. In this manner, you can identify any signs of identity theft as well as eliminating false information from your report. By keeping an eye out, you can protect your credit rating and stop any abuse in the early stages.
Pay Your Bill at Least Twice Per Month: If you want to start getting ahead of your debt, then a good way to accomplish that feat is to pay more than once per month. While it might seem easier to save up and pay all at once, if you are having trouble making the payments, then you should pay online when you can to help keep the overall bill down. You might be able to take advantage of any rewards the credit card company offers as well when using this method.
Ask for Benefits: This is a rather simple one that many people do not try. If you don’t like paying the annual fee for example and you have a good record with the credit card company, ask if they will waive it. You may be surprised that they will do just that or perhaps you can move your account to one that is free of fees. Remember, it never hurts to ask.
These simple tips will help keep your credit card in good use and protect your credit score as well.