Friday, February 15, 2008

Be a Responsible Credit Card User

We can't deny the usefulness of credit cards since many establishments and stores encourage a cashless society these days. Neither is it difficult to apply for one since even youths are able to get hold of a credit card these days. In times of emergencies as when our car breaks down or even hospitalization, a credit card can come to our rescue. Then again there is also the internet business, purchases and transactions that can only be done with a credit card. Different card issuers offer different benefits to the users, so it is wise to read up some reviews to make an informed decision.

Nevertheless, as many of us are aware there are responsibilities involved in managing our finances with a credit card. The idea of "buy now, pay later" approach to shopping can snowball into a huge amount of debt. To avoid the credit card financial trap, practice these good habits:

  • ● Keep track of your purchases and carefully examine your monthly statements to make sure that you are being charged only for purchases that you have made. We don't want to be charged for something that we didn't purchase and human or even machine errors can happen more frequently than we realized.
  • ● Pay your bills promptly, realizing that a good credit history will likely be helpful later—perhaps when applying for a job or for insurance or when financing a car or a home.
  • ● If possible, pay the full amount owed so that you can avoid being charged a high interest rate on the balance.
  • ● Do not give out your credit card number and expiration date over the phone unless you know the person or the company you are dealing with.
  • ● Never lend your credit card to anyone, not even to a friend. After all, it is the credit record of the card owner that will be affected if the card is misused.
  • ● Avoid using your credit card as a means to get quick cash, as if it were a bank card. Remember, cash advances usually carry a higher interest rate than purchases.
  • ● Do not fill out and send in every credit card application they receive.
  • ● Use your credit card with respect, fully realizing that when you make a purchase with it, you are still spending real money, even though you are not using bills or coins.


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