Getting your first credit card is a big deal.Credit cards can be used to cover unexpected expenses and build up a good financial reputation.Credit cards can be used irresponsibly and can lead to long-term debt and difficult financial situations, so it’s important to understand how to use a credit card and not to.Most of this is ordinary common sense!
Step 1: You can get a credit card from your bank or credit union.
It can be difficult to figure out how to use a credit card.If you have a checking or savings account at the bank or credit union, it’s a good idea to ask the staff if you can get a credit card.Credit will be offered to qualified customers by most local financial institutions.The length and quality of your financial history can affect your eligibility for a credit card.If you’re a young adult who’s only had a savings account for a few months, you may not be able to get a credit card.You can either maintain your savings account or use a secured credit card in this case.
Step 2: You can get a credit card from a company.
Many credit cards are offered by companies that operate just like any other business, and a bank isn’t the only place you can get a credit card.Mastercard, Discovery, etc. are some of the companies you are familiar with.Like banks, these kinds of companies only issue credit cards to customers who are financially responsible enough to pay for them.If you’re in the market for one of these credit cards, it’s a good idea to consult a Consumer Reports-style resource for more information about which cards are good deals and which are not.Nerdwallet.com offers their own credit card ratings.
Step 3: You can get a credit card from the business.
Businesses in a wide variety of industries issue their own credit cards.You can sign up for these credit cards when you make a purchase.Store credit cards can have high interest rates and low credit limits compared to other types of cards.Store credit cards come with rewards, which makes them attractive to customers.There may be a percentage off of a purchase, a 0% interest rate for a limited time, and ongoing bonuses based on the use of the card.Credit cards issued by airlines accumulate “miles” with use.If enough miles are built up, they can be used for big discounts on plane tickets.
Step 4: You should be able to prove your financial responsibility.
When you apply for a credit card, the bank or business issuing you the card wants to know that you will be able to pay back any money you spend.Credit report agencies give them your credit history so they can check it.Whether or not you’ll be able to get a credit card depends on your financial history.Have you paid your loans on time or have you been late?Do you pay your rent on time?Some landlords send your history to credit report companies.Have you used previous credit cards in a responsible manner and paid off your debt on time?Have you recently declared bankruptcy or been foreclosed on?
Step 5: If you have a short history, be willing to accept a secured credit card.
It may be difficult for you to be a good candidate for a credit card if you don’t have a lot of credit history.It is possible for you to get a secured credit card.You have to put down a deposit to get a credit card.If you can’t pay back what you owe, the bank or business can always take the money out of your deposit, which makes the institution giving you the card feel more comfortable about extending credit to you.People with very little credit history can use secured cards to start building up a good history.If you demonstrate that you can use your secured card safely, you’ll probably be able to get a normal credit card, which doesn’t require a deposit.
Step 6: Start making purchases.
You have a credit card.It’s now possible to use it to make purchases almost anywhere, just present it at the cashier and you’re good to go.For more detailed information on using your card responsible, see the section below.You cannot spend more than your card’s credit limit, which is usually the amount of money in your deposit.Purchases that exceed this limit will be declined.There is a balance on the credit card.If you don’t pay at least 2% of your balance on time, you’ll face penalties.Paying off your balance as quickly as possible is in your financial interest.Balance that you don’t pay one month “rolls over” to the next month with interest, which is a fee for not paying back your balance as quickly as possible.When you sign up for your card, your interest rate is a percentage of your total balance.Some cards offer zero interest payments for a period of time after signing up.
Step 7: Small purchases help build your credit history.
Make small purchases frequently and pay them off immediately with your new credit card.This shows the institution that gave you the card that you can use to pay back your credit balances.Getting a mortgage for a house can be easier if you have a strong credit history.A loan for personal expenses.There are good deals on new credit cards.
Step 8: You should keep your balance low.
It may seem like the best way to build a good credit history is to spend a lot of money with your credit card and then pay it back over and over again.It’s a bad idea to use lots of credit because it can hurt your credit history.This indicates to financial institutions that you have a hard time meeting your expenses with the money in your bank account, so you need to rely on credit, which is someone else’s money.Less than 30% is usually seen as preferable, as most financial resources recommend spending no more than 70% of your available credit.
Step 9: You don’t want to get multiple cards at once.
If you open a lot of credit card accounts at the same time, you can hurt your lender’s reputation by spending too much money on credit cards.This makes it look like you suddenly need lots of money that you can’t get from your paycheck, which can make loaning to you seem like a risky idea.Your credit scores can be affected by the total number of credit cards you have.It’s not a good idea to have more than five credit cards.
Step 10: Take care of your credit information.
Credit cards are not like debit cards.A number of cards are issued with PIN number technology, but you don’t always need it to use them, often only a signature at independent merchants.Many vendors don’t ask for an ID when you use a credit card.If your credit card gets into the wrong hands, someone else may be able to run up purchases and you will be stuck with the bill.It’s important to keep track of your credit cards, as well as any correspondence that contains information relevant to them, like the password to your online credit card account.If you need to dispose of your credit card, destroy it first.You can shred or burn paper documents if you cut a credit card into pieces.The issuer should receive a report of lost or stolen cards immediately.The account may be frozen if you are quick.If a card is used without your permission, you can be held liable for up to $50.Some cards have fraud liability as low as $0.
Step 11: Don’t accept credit card offers that are too high.
Step 12: Automatic deductions can be set up for bills.
It’s possible to set up automatic deductions with a credit card if you have regular expenses like utility bills, student loans, and so on.You can consult the website of the agency sending you bills for more information.If you have regular deductions scheduled, you will need to pay off your credit card in a timely fashion to avoid overspending.
Step 13: Signing up for credit cards that offer rewards is a good idea.
Credit card issuers try to entice new users by packaging rewards and signing bonuses.If you’re looking for a new credit card, consider getting one with an attractive reward package.Low or zero interest can be included in the rewards.Credit towards certain rewards with each purchase is a percentage off of certain purchases.
Step 14: Ask for a larger credit limit.
If you find that you’re willing to handle more responsibility after a while, you may want to ask your card issuer to extend your line of credit.If you’re in good standing, you may be approved for a higher credit limit if you suddenly need more money.The more credit you have, the more important it is to use it in a responsible way.The damage to your financial reputation can be significant if you max out your line of credit.
Step 15: Don’t forget to consider overdraft protection policies.
If you find that you need to use your credit card to make a single large expense that will put you over your limit, contact your card issuer.Some credit card companies will agree to pay for a purchase if you have a history of responsible use and are in good standing.Extra money is usually spent in the form of overdraft fees.Federal law requires credit card issuers to get your explicit consent before paying for overdrafts.”opting in” is what it means.Your credit card issuer may not cover all of the overdrafts after you opt in.