A credit card is a great way to start building your financial future and establish a construction credit card. However, it can also lead to debt that you have to repay for many years. Here are some tips to help you get your first credit card.
Establish a budget
Although credit cards are convenient for making purchases and earning rewards, they shouldn’t be used for things you cannot afford. You can avoid getting into debt by having a realistic estimate of how much you can spend each month and what you will have to pay off.
Keep track of your purchases
The first step is to determine how much you can spend. The next step is to track your purchases throughout the month using your credit card’s website or mobile app. After you have reached your monthly spending limit, you can stop using the card. This discipline will help you build credit and keep you from getting into credit card debt.
Automate your payments
It can be difficult to pay your monthly bill on time. You can avoid late credit card bills by setting up automatic payments before the due date. You should ensure that the scheduled payment is greater than the minimum payment, ideally for your entire balance. Also, make sure you have sufficient funds in your checking account prior to the payment being scheduled. You may be subject to a late or returned payment fee.
As little as possible of your credit limit
Although it can be tempting to max your credit card, which is to charge more than your credit limit, it’s important not to do so. Your credit score is second most affected by credit utilization. This refers to how much credit you use. Your credit score can be affected if you have a high credit card balance and carry it around from month to month. It can also set the stage for credit card debt that can take years to repay.
Every month, pay your bill in full
The minimum payment required by your credit card issuer is one percent of the outstanding balance. Although it may seem easier and cheaper than paying full amount, it can end up costing you more over time.
You will pay interest each month if you don’t pay the minimum amount until you have paid in full. Because accrued interest will be applied to a portion of your monthly payment, your balance will not decrease. Let’s get to the bottom of it. To avoid interest, pay your balance each month in full.
Make sure to check your statement regularly
Your credit card issuer will send you a statement each month that details your transactions for the previous billing cycle. Even if you have already scheduled your monthly payment, it is worth reading your billing statement. To spot errors and unauthorized charges, you should carefully review your billing statement. These errors or unauthorized charges should be reported immediately to your credit card issuer to be corrected.
Make sure to understand the rewards program if you have a rewards credit card. Spend in the highest-reward categories, such as gas and restaurants to maximize your cash back or points.
Then, don’t let your rewards collect dust. Reward points can be used to redeem for statement credits, checks to your bank account, travel and hotels, gift cards or other types of rewards, depending on which credit card you have. You’ll need to use the rewards or they will expire. For more information about your card’s expiration policy, please refer to the fine print.