Always report any fraudulent charges that you notice on your cards as soon as possible. By doing this, you can help your card company catch the thief who is making these unauthorized charges. This will also allow you to be sure that you aren’t responsible for the charges they made. Any charges that you did not make need to be reported to your company with a phone call or a high priority email.
In order to maintain a solid score, always pay your balances by the due date. Paying late can rack up expensive fees, and hurt your score. Setting up an automatic payment schedule with your card company or bank can save you time and money.
In order to keep a good rating, be sure to pay your bills on time. Avoid interest charges by picking a card that has a grace period. Then you can pay the entire balance that is due each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, pick a card that has the lowest interest rate available.
If you have any cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those cards.
When signing card receipts in stores, don’t leave blank spaces. If the receipt includes a tip line and you aren’t leaving a tip, draw a line in the tip space. If you do not you take the chance of an employee writing in an amount themselves. When your monthly statement arrives, compare the charges with your receipts to ensure that everything matches.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
Don’t open too many credit card accounts. A single person only needs two or three in his or her name, in order to get a good credit established. More credit cards than this, could actually do more damage than good to your score. Also, having multiple accounts is harder to keep track of and harder to remember to pay on time.
Make sure you save your statements. Before you file them away, pay close attention to what is on them as well. If you see a charge that shouldn’t be on there, dispute the charge. All credit card companies have dispute procedures in place to assist you with fraudulent charges that may occur.
If you pay your credit card bill with a check each month, make sure you send that check out as soon as you get your bill so that you avoid any finance charges or late payment fees. This is good practice and will help you create a good payment history too.
It is easy to underestimate how much you owe on your credit card if you use it frequently at restaurants and grocery stores. This is because those charges can take longer to appear on your credit card statement, and so you think you have spent less than you actually have. This can lead to you spending more money since you will have the perception that your balance is actually lower than it is.
Never transfer your credit card numbers via a fax. Faxes are sometimes not picked up as soon as they are received, which gives many people ample opportunity to get at the information. Any random person with access to these areas could steal your identity. This will create a ton of problems.
Be careful when you are signing up with secured credit card companies because a lot of them charge high fees in exchange for issuing you a card. If you have to get this type of card, then you should shop around to make sure that you are paying the lowest fees.
Check with your credit card company to see if they will reduce the annual percentage rate on your card, particularly if you have solid credit. In many cases, they’ll be more than willing to oblige. Any reduction in interest rate can really add up to huge savings for you in the long run.
How do you feel now? Are you still scared? If so, it is time to continue your credit education. If that fear has passed, pat yourself on the back. You have educated and prepared yourself in a responsible manner.