Credit cards can offer numerous benefits, including the ability to earn points or cashback on purchases. Credit cards are helpful for many other reasons than helping you develop credit, such as when it comes time to buy a house or automobile in the future. However, using credit cards carries some risk, and you may feel anxious if this is your first time opening a credit card.
However, by being aware of the risks associated with using credit cards, you can avoid making these mistakes and instead make the most of the benefits and rewards they offer.
Here are some credit card dangers, along with advice on how to avoid them.
1. Amounts owed on a credit card
Credit cards can make it easy to borrow more than you can afford to pay back if you approach them the incorrect way. Instead of free money to spend, think of your credit limit as a loan from your credit card company. Interest rates are frequently attached to credit card debt. Your interest rate will increase by a certain amount each time you make a purchase and do not pay it off in full within the billing cycle. This can make paying off credit card debt more challenging.
To put it another way: For example, if the credit limit on your card is $2,000, that doesn’t mean you should spend that much money in a single month unless you can pay it off immediately.
What should you remember? Keeping an eye on your spending will help you avoid overspending. Plan your monthly expenditure by making a budget and sticking to it. Then you won’t have to worry about overspending for credit card issuers list.
You can keep tabs on your spending with the help of several apps and programs. A basic spreadsheet or list of your monthly spending can be created if you’re the DIY type.
2. You are not paying your bills on time and you will face some problems
Missing payments can have a significant influence on your credit score because your payment history is one of the most critical criteria in determining your credit score.
A late fee will usually be imposed if you miss a payment. Your account may be hit with a penalty APR as well.
Overdue payments are reported to the three major consumer credit bureaus and can linger on your report for up to seven years before they are removed from the account.
Setting up automatic payments could help you avoid this. It’s easy to forget to pay your bill if you use autopay, but you’ll need to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover the scheduled withdrawal.
To make sure you pay your monthly bill promptly, you may also use SMS or email reminders to remind you.
3. Having a credit card balance and paying a lot of interest
Carrying a balance from month to month will cost you a lot of money in interest. The interest rates you pay on your credit cards can vary based on the card and your credit score, but they can be very high.
Annual percentage rates, or APR, on credit cards, were 16.32% in January 2018. With average or poor credit, however, you will almost certainly be charged a much higher rate.
If you have a large credit card bill and are having difficulty paying it off, you may want to look into getting a balance transfer card. You won’t be charged interest on your transferred balance for nine to twenty-one months if you use a 0% introductory balance transfer credit card.