Tips to help you control your credit cards
Some of us might feel as though we are controlled by our credit cards instead of the other way around.
08:11 15 September 2013
Many of us struggle with credit cards. We might use them too much, forget to make timely payments, or ignore the mail that tells us about changes. With hectic lives and busy schedules it’s easy to let things slide. Credit cards are not always forgiving though, and there are a few tips that you need to know to avoid some potential financial setbacks.
- Billing—pays your credit cards on time. If you mail payments, send them early to ensure that they arrive on time, even if there were to be interferences from poor weather or holidays. This could mean sending payments as early as 7-10 business days before the due date.
- Interest rates—avoid unpleasant surprises on your bill by making sure you understand all the applicable interest rates. You could have different rates for regular purchases, and other rates for balance transfers. If you send one or two late payments your interest rate could increase, and you could even lose any special or introductory rates.
- Keeping tabs—credit cards are things that should be reviewed frequently, either online or via an automated phone system. Try to pay off whatever you spend on the credit card each month, or pay as much toward the balance as possible, not just the minimum due. Keeping close tabs on your credit cards will help you determine how much you can spend during the billing cycle or if you spent more than expected.
- Fees—know what fees are charged from your credit cards and avoid the fees whenever possible. Late fees, over-the-limit fees, and disuse fees can all be avoided. Other fees, such as annual fees cannot be avoided without closing the credit card in question.
- Reminders—due dates are extremely important with credit cards and since you can lose special rates, set up reminders and mark calendars for the due date and the dates when you should pay.