Credit cards are almost a necessity of modern life, but the easy credit that they offer can get many people in trouble. Knowing how to use credit cards responsibly is a key part of your financial education. The tips in this article will help make sure that you do not abuse your credit cards.
Do not use public computers to make purchases with a credit card. Your information will be stored on these public computers, such as those in coffee shops, and the public library. Putting your credit information on these computers is just asking for trouble. Only make purchases from your own computer.
If you are using multiple credit cards, it is a good idea to single one out and pay it off every month. Even if you are carrying significant debt on other cards, maintaining an active card that you pay in full every month will help you to build a better credit history.
Don't place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.
When considering whether or not you want to apply for a credit card, be sure that this is one that you both need and have a good chance of being accepted for. It is important to consider this, because with each credit application that you make, you are receiving a hard inquiry on your credit record. This can lead to lower scores with each credit check.
At the first sign that your bills are getting out of hand, stop using your credit cards. This is how people get into serious credit card trouble. They start using their cards to pay monthly bills, the interest adds up, and they end up in bankruptcy court. Credit cards are not meant to replace a paycheck!
Many people, especially when they are younger, feel like credit cards are a type of free money. The fact is, they are exactly the opposite, paid money. Remember, every time you use your credit card, you are basically taking out a micro-loan with incredibly high interest. Never forget that you must repay this loan.
Now that you can see what ways credit is good for you and how to avoid the pitfalls and negative consequences that they can bring, you are ready to dive into the world of modern credit. When credit cards are necessary, an educated consumer like yourself, can make the most of them.
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