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Credit Card Do's

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Credit Card Don'ts

Many of us learn good credit card skills once we've made some hard mistakes. However, that doesn't have to be the case if you avoid the following don'ts of credit card use. Doing so will save you money and, very importantly, will help you achieve and maintain a positive credit history. A solid credit report means you can borrow money from lenders at a cheaper rate.

  • If all of your friends are getting credit cards or buying major purchases on credit don't feel pressure to follow suit. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control leaving you with a mound of payments you can't afford.
  • Don't send your payments late. The reason for this is several fold. You will get accessed an expensive late penalty and the negative activity will show up on your credit report. This can make borrowing money for things like a car or house much more expensive.
  • Paying only the minimum required payment each month means you're paying for expensive accumulated interest charges. Don't pay only the minimum payment each month to avoid unnecessary interest charges.
  • Don't attempt to overdraw your credit card. This is a lightning fast way to get a negative mark on your credit report and will cost you.
  • Unless you manage your spending very closely, don't use your credit card to pay for all of your everyday expenses. This is a quick way to run up the balance of your credit card.
  • Don't lend your credit card to a friend. This has backfired so many times and typically results in a lost friendship. If that person could afford the item they wouldn't need to borrow your credit card.
  • Keep your pin numbers safe. Don't write your pin number on the back of your credit card to help you remember. This is an easy way for thieves to withdraw thousands of dollars of cash against your credit.
  • Never give out your credit card number to a caller. If you are initiating a purchase over the phone be sure you are talking to a reputable company to avoid a scam.
  • If your first card balance is reaching the credit limit it's not time to get another card. Don't apply for more credit cards if you are carrying large balances on other credit cards. This can get you into financial trouble.
  • Avoid making unnecessary credit card purchases. Unless you can really afford that big ticket item you shouldn't buy it - not even on credit.

Keeping your credit card safe, avoiding over use and only making minimum payments are important aspects of managing your credit card use.

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