Research Cards and Companies
Not all credit cards are created equal. If you are looking into acquiring and using a credit card you should shop around. You should consider what types of purchases you will make with your card and whether or not you intend to pay off your credit card balance every month. If you plan on making many purchases with your credit card and then paying off the entire balance every single month, then you should look into getting a rewards card. Rewards cards can provide you with cash, physical items or points toward additional purchases. By using a rewards card wisely, you can actually profit from using your credit card. On the contrary, if you wish to only use your card for emergencies and you do not have a large amount of extra income to put towards credit card payments, you should look into getting a card with as low of an interest rate as possible. While most credit cards have fairly high interest rates, it is possible to find some on the lower end of the spectrum.
Only Use a Credit Card for Necessities or Emergencies
You should strive to use your card only for things that you really need or for emergency purposes. It is important that you do not make credit card purchases for non-essential luxury items – especially if you do not have the means to pay off your credit card balance in a timely manner. When making a credit card purchase you should take the time to consider whether or not you really need what you are buying.
Try to Pay Off Your Balance Every Month
Credit card interest rates can be fairly high. If you fail to pay off your credit card balance at the end of the month then your balance will begin to accumulate interest. Even if you make minimum payments toward your balance, the interest generated can really add up over time. Therefore it is important to try your best to pay off your balance at the end of the month before any interest begins to accrue on your debt.
Make At Least Minimum Payments
If you are unable to pay off your balance every month, you should at least make minimum payments toward it. While you will still be accruing a fairly large amount of interest, if you fail to pay your credit card bill it can damage your credit score. If you miss multiple credit card payments in a row your credit card company is likely to “charge off” your card, which means that they will close your credit card account with them and you will be unable to make any future purchases with your credit card. This could also have a severely negative effect on your credit score, so you should do your best to make at least minimum payments on your card if you are unable to pay off the full card balance on a regular basis.