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Credit Smarts: Using Your Card Intelligently

Jul 14, 2008
So you've received a sparkling credit card with a sky-high limit. Not so fast! Before embarking on a huge shopping spree there are a few important things you should know in order to avoid a credit crisis in the future.

Maybe this new card is for "emergency use only." If that's the case, it is important to define what an "emergency" is. An emergency might be an exploding pipe flooding the basement. Other people might consider the Annual Shoe Blowout at the Super Shoe Warehouse to be an emergency. Regardless, decide the specific purpose of your card and stick to it.

You might have obtained this card to try to improve your credit rating and score. If you are young and planning to make a major purchase in the future, this is a smart idea. Make sure to use the card in a way that will help your efforts instead of hurting them.

You can maintain a healthy credit score by paying the full balance each month. Be sure to do it on time. Doing so will show that you're a responsible borrower. You will also avoid having to pay high interest fees. Set a budget and stick with it. This will prevent you from accumulating debt rather which will hurt your credit rating. Charge only what you can comfortably pay off, without having to tap into your savings.

Some people feel the need to check their credit report and score on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. Although it's wise to monitor your record to detect any fraudulent activity, make sure you do it responsibly. It is best to check through one of the three major credit bureaus. You can actually hurt your credit record if you repeatedly check through a credit lender. Therefore, you should avoid doing that unless you're actively applying for credit.

A common credit pitfall is regularly counting on credit cards instead of savings to make ends meet. Doing so will lead to deep, long-term debt, and should be avoided at all costs. The purpose of having a savings account is to have a nest egg for the future or an umbrella for a rainy financial season.

Credit cards come in handy for shopping no matter where you are. The internet has generated a global shopping market. It's easier than ever to find whatever you want and have it sent directly to your home. When using your card for online shopping, make sure that the site you're using is safe and secure. Being careful will help you avoid fraud, scams, and identity theft. These situations can irreparably damage your credit.

Once you've learned how to use your credit card wisely, you'll be able to maintain a good credit score and stay out of debt easily. Now you're ready to get out there and start buying!
About the Author
Find more info and a great selection of business credit cards right here. Visit Top-Ten-Credit-Cards.com for a mastercard .
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