Prior to signing a contract, if you are in the process of purchasing a home or vehicle, it is best to read the fine print. This is especially true since these are two major purchases where you have to make some important financial decisions. It is very essential that you set a budget and financial goals for yourself, whether you are a new credit card owner or not. With vehicle ownership, you have financial access to a vehicle title loan estimate. You also have the same financial power with home ownership. With credit card ownership, you also have access to financing.
If you have never owned a credit card, it is to your advantage to be prepared for what is to come. You need to learn about finance charges and how making the minimum payments on your credit card each month will impact your balance. You also need to be aware that if you have a revolving balance on your credit card, it can lower your credit scores. The same is true if you have several auto lenders or mortgage lenders pulling your credit during the same period. This could also lower your credit score since it shows that you are shopping around.
More often than not, credit card applicants allow credit card companies to sway their decisions by accepting cash back offers, free deals and bonus miles to sign up for a credit card. That is not the best thing for a first time credit card applicant. You have to be careful or you will end up getting the wrong credit card, falling into the creditor’s trap of saddling you with debt and eventually bad credit when you cannot pay the exorbitantly high finance charges. How are you able to protect yourself from all of this? Below are some guidelines.
First, you must establish the type of credit card that will meet your needs. If you want to pay off your balance all at once when you receive your monthly statement, then the American Express credit card would be ideal. If you don’t mind carrying a revolving balance, then a Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card would be the best decision. You should also base your decision on the interest rate or finance charges, if you are carrying a credit card balance. You should research to see which creditor offers a reward or points system that you can utilize to earn additional savings. If you have bad credit, you could think about getting one of those prepaid credit cards where the money in your bank account is linked to the card. In this case, you can only spend what you have. However, it helps to build your credit.
As a new credit card owner, you have to make an effort to learn the credit language such as billing cycle, APR, finance charge and balance transfers. To avoid mistakes, it is best that you try to educate yourself on all of this. It will save you a lot of headache and even money down the road. The real cost of using a credit card is disclosed in the fine print. Therefore, you should do your own investigation and also read the fine print. Don’t rely on ads and what you see on the creditor’s website.
As you become a new credit card owner, try your best not to be late with any of your monthly payments. Lateness equates to bad credit eventually. You also don’t want to miss any of your payments or you will damage your credit. Most people see credit cards as magical money, but you should view it as a convenience, but something that you are solely responsible for.