Are you using a credit card to meet the expenses for your basic needs? Are you constantly ignoring credit card statements? Do you use credit to purchase expensive items? Well, you need to learn more about how to make the best use of credit cards, especially if you are a first-time credit card user. If not used wisely, things to get bad.
Let us now learn a few tips that will help you use your card responsibly and wisely.
10 Tips for First Timers to Use Your Credit Card Wisely
Tip 1: Track your Spending
Once you have got a credit card, its easy to get tempted to desire and pay for anything you want. Do remember, the convenience of the card comes at a cost. Keep track of your spending to avoid debt racking up against your card, which you might not be able to easily pay off in future.
Tip 2: Pay on Time
Always check the date on which the payment is due first, when you get your credit card statement. Paying on time will save you from extra interest charges, along with late payment fees. The payments should cover at least the minimum monthly due on the card.
Tip 3: Set-up Automatic Payments
Due to a slight miss of the due date for repayment, mainly because of our busy schedules and travelling, cardholders often get hit with hefty late fees and credit score damage. Automatic credit card payments come to the rescue in such cases, to manage your debts even when you are taking care of other important events in life.
Tip 4: Pay More than the Minimum Repayment
If you want to reduce the amount and interest, you’ll need to pay off your debt. For this, make sure to pay more than the minimum repayment amount each month, otherwise you will end up paying a huge amount in interest, taking you even more time to clear off the balance. Keeping the balance low will also help in maintaining a good credit score, enhancing your future chances of getting a loan and credit card.
You can use a credit card calculator to calculate the EMI and view the monthly repayment schedule beforehand to develop a sustainable repayment schedule.
Tip 5: Stick to a Credit Limit
Don’t increase your credit limit or indirectly the debt, if you can’t afford to pay off your balance each month. The amount should be easily payable by you, without tempting you to spend more than you can afford.
Tip 6: Lower Your Credit Limit
If you are facing issues in avoiding the temptation to overspend with your existing credit limit on the card, it would be wise to reduce your credit limit. Contact the credit provider for the same and the account will be updated in 1 or 2 days. Most cardholders leverage on an increased limit to make a special purchase. However, as a smart act, they pay the debt quickly and lower down the limit to an affordable and more manageable one after that.
Tip 7: Don’t Use Credit to Take Care of Emergencies
Unexpected emergencies can happen to all of us, anytime. However, taking a cash advance via a credit card or using credit directly would not be a wise attempt. The emergency will most probably be taken care of, but it could lead you to a bigger financial crisis, building more debt on you.
Tip 8: Avoid Using Credit Cards to Make Everyday Purchases
Humans need food, clothing and many other basic essentials for daily survival. There are some cardholders who use credit to purchase these daily necessities, which instantly leads to debt. You should always use your debit card for such ordinary purchases. The key to using a credit card responsibly is recognizing the things you “need” against those that you just “desire.”
Tip 9: Be Wise with Reward Credit Cards
Many credit cards let you earn rewards points, discounts and many other exclusive offers on every purchase. These reward points can be redeemed with another purchase, making the whole process quite tempting. Be thoughtful about the annual and service fees attached, along with the interest and terms and conditions, to save yourself from future debt.
Tip 10: Always Check your Credit Card Statement
Credit cards should never be taken for granted and the statement should always be checked for accuracy. Match the charges on your statement with you credit card receipts each month, while reading through each transaction on your card, to make sure you have been charged the right amount by the credit card company.