7 Tips on Using a Credit Card Responsibly.
A credit card can be a valuable tool if used responsibly. Here are some tips to keep in mind
Getting into the habit of using a credit card when you make a purchase is easy. Whether you want the convenience of not having to carry money or you want to get rewards while spending, this can be an easy and quick way to make a payment. But what about your other credit card habits? Do you use your card to help or hurt your credit?
Protect Your Funds by Following These General Guidelines:
1. Read Your Card Agreement And Find Out Your Terms.
When you open a new credit card account, carefully read the credit card customer agreement and account opening disclosures. This way, you know what to expect when it comes to relevant dates, fees, interest rates and other information.
2. Pay On Time.
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains, you have to pay on time every time. This is because your payment history is an important factor when it comes to your credit score. Also missed or late credit card payments will not only affect your credit – they can also lead to late fees and interest rate hikes.
You may want to consider setting up automatic bills or electronic reminders to help ensure you make timely payments.
3. Pay More Than The Minimum.
Making a minimum payment on your credit card during each billing cycle will help you avoid penalties and fees. At least the payment keeps your account in good condition. But if you pay the minimum, you will have a balance. And interest will be charged on that balance.
Those interest rates will make it harder to pay off your credit card debt. So take it from the CFPB: “If possible, pay the full amount of your credit card bill each month.”
Read Also : 7 Easy Ways to Cope with Financial Stress
4. Stay Below Your Credit Limit.
Use only the credit you really need. Even better, stay below your credit limit.
Why? Your credit scores may be affected by your credit usage rate — how much you use on your available credit. The lower your credit rating, the better your credit score. In fact, CFPB does not recommend using more than 30% of your credit limit.
5. Your Monthly Reports.
Check carefully for accuracy Be sure to check your credit card statements when they arrive online or by email – a great way to keep your expenses in mind. This will help you to detect transactions that you do not recognize. And it will help protect you from fraud.
If you find an unauthorized payment, notify your credit card issuer immediately. The sooner you notice and report a credit card fraud, the sooner you can stop unauthorized expenses in your name.
Capital One has several credit card security features that can help protect you from fraud.
When you set up instant purchase notifications on the Capitol One mobile processor, you may receive an alert at any time when a transaction is authorized on your card. 1 and Eno are your Capital One Assistant, which helps you keep track of your transactions and protect your account by reaching out during any points that it seems out of the ordinary.
6. Report a Lost or Stolen Card Immediately.
If your card is lost or stolen or you think someone has stolen your account number, report whether your card has been lost or stolen. When you do, your card issuer will deactivate your old card so no one else can use it. You can notify the issuer if you have purchases that you do not have in your account.
Many card issuers offer $0 fraud liability, meaning that you do not have to pay for unauthorized fees if your card is ever lost or stolen or used without your permission. So the loss should be reported soon.
If you lose your card or it is suspected of being stolen, you can lock your card to prevent it from being used. For example, in Capital One, you can instantly lock your credit card with a few taps in the Capital One mobile app. Once you find your card, you can easily open it.
7. Monitor Your Credit.
It is always good to take care of your debt meticulously. Keeping track of your credit will help you keep track of where you stand. This is another way to help you detect bugs and potential fraud attempts.
One way to track your credit is by using CreditVice from Capital One. With CreditVice, you can access your Transunion credit report and weekly VantageScore® 3.0 credit score – without hurting your score. Creditervice is free for everyone. You do not have to be a capital customer to register.
You can also get a free copy of your credit report from three major credit bureaus: Equifox, Experian and Trans Union. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to learn how.
Creating, rebuilding and maintaining credit with a credit card Good credit is important. And using a credit card responsibly is the best way to get a new loan, repay your loan or maintain a good credit score.
Wherever you are on your credit journey, there are credit card options for you.
Credit card options to build and rebuild credit
If you are trying to install credit or rebuild your credit, you may want to consider a student credit card or secured credit card.
Or you could consider becoming an authorized user of a trusted friend or family member’s current credit card account.
Since many credit card issuers report the activity of authorized users to credit bureaus, using a credit card responsibly can help you build or rebuild your credit.
Credit Card Options for Maintaining Good Credit If you already have a good credit score, you may have even more credit card options. And those options may even come with additional offers. For example, using your card responsibly can help you get a refund or travel rewards.
Use Your Credit Card to Help – Do Not Hurt – Your Credit Whether you build, rebuild or maintain your credit, a credit card can be a valuable tool — if you use it responsibly. Doing things like making timely payments, paying more than the minimum, using the credit you need and monitoring your credit can help ensure that your credit card usage helps.