Once you get your very first credit card it can seem a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a set of instructions telling you the ins and outs and tips to get by. While it’s a fantastic tool for building your credit, having emergency funds on hand, and extremely convenient as an alternative to having to carry large amounts of cash, it’s also something that needs to be taken very seriously and with caution.
Before you dive into blindly swiping with your new credit card, take a look at some of the things to look out for.
Don’t Fall Subject To Fraud
Be careful about where and how you use your credit card. If it gets into the wrong hands you could set yourself up for identity theft or owe a large amount of money that you are subject to pay.
When using your credit card online, only give your information to trusted sites which are reputable and secure. Never give your credit card information over email or to an untrusted source who calls you claiming to be your financial institution.
Fraud can happen to even the most savvy of people, and sometimes there is no way to avoid it. But it never hurts to try a little extra to avoid it.
This can be one of the most challenging temptations of a credit card. Make sure that you don’t spend more than you can pay back. If you overspend you run the risk of getting in over your head in debt and the interest piling on top of you.
Whatever you are spending your money on should be something that you feel comfortable paying back within 1-2 months. If you don’t have that kind of money then it’s not worth the price you will ultimately pay the charges and interest.
Don’t Let Interest Pile Up
Make sure that you are keeping your balance to a minimum so that you can avoid those hefty interest fees which can bury you in no time.
The less that you owe on your total balance, the less interest that you are subject to. Some people don’t take into account that they can be charged upwards of thousands a year. Every little small amount of interest adds up and makes it in your best interest (pun intended) to pay it off as soon as possible to avoid paying extra.
Keep an Eye On Hidden Fees
It’s important to look at all of the fine print on your contract before you make charges on your card. You never know what kind of hidden fees there may be. From cash advances to making charges abroad, you could be in for some serious extra charges that you didn’t educate yourself on first!