Advice For Those With Credit Cards

By: Rachel Yoshida

A credit card can either be a gift or a curse, depending on how you end up using it and how often. Using a credit card in the right way is a difficult task that most people never master, however you can learn to do it by following a few simple bits of advice. You will have to stick to them in order to make it work, but if you want to learn to use your credit cards for daily purchases, there are ways to do it without letting yourself get caught up in a lot of debt you won't be able to easily pay back.

The first thing you need to ask yourself before you start using your cards for everyday purchases is whether you are financially stable at this time. This means that you are able to put money into a savings account every month and make all your bill payments on time without a hitch. If you can handle your current bills and save money at the same time, you are in good shape and can likely handle the responsibility of using a credit card every day for purchases instead of cash.

If you are not financially stable and have trouble paying the bills, you should neither get nor use a credit card and especially not on a daily basis. Credit card debt can mount up much faster than you think it can, especially if you use your card for small purchases. You will not realize how much you are spending with it on small purchases until you get your first statement at the end of the month. Then, it will hit you like a ton of bricks. If you already have a credit card, put it away until you're financially stable.

If you are stable enough to use a credit card on a daily basis, you may as well have a card that has a rewards program so you can reap the benefits of using a card every day. At least then you will get something back. No matter what your hobby or interest is, there is likely a credit card out there tailored to your needs.

Something else to remember is that paying off your credit card balance every month before your statement is due really, really helps your credit score. Not all people are able to pay off their cards every month like this, but this is the best thing for you to do if at all possible. If you absolutely have to carry a balance, try to keep it under around 30% of your overall credit limit. Not only will it help your credit score, but it will also keep your payments low. And never, ever miss a payment. Pay more than the minimum payment every month if you can, but never miss one. You'll be charged a late fee and it'll hurt your credit score.

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