Anyone who has ever had a credit card, knows that they can be a mix of good and bad elements. Though they provide financial flexibility when needed, they can also create difficult financial burdens, if used improperly. Consider the advice in this article before you make another single charge and you will gain a whole new perspective on the potential that these tools offer.

Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible.

Before opening a credit card, be sure to check if it charges an annual fee. Annual fees for high end cards can be very high depending on how exclusive they are. If it is not necessary for you to have an exclusive card, avoid fees by not getting one.

Avoiding late charges is important, but you also want to avoid going over your limit because you will be charged for that as well. These fees cost you both money and points on your credit score. This is a very good reason to always be careful not to exceed your limit.

Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.

Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.

Pay attention to the terms and conditions to be sure that nothing has changed. Often, credit card companies will change conditions and terms, and they do it a lot more now. These changes may be buried within hard to understand legal terms. Just look through everything to find such changes. These may include changes to rates and fees.

Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.

Credit cards have the ability to provide great convenience, but also bring with them, a significant degree of risk for undisciplined users. The critical part of wise credit card use is a thorough understanding of how providers of these financial tools, operate. Review the ideas in this piece carefully, and you will be equipped to take the world of personal finance by storm.

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