Getting your first credit card is exciting because it brings a certain level of financial freedom. It is not only exciting but also may be intimidating and tempting. Here are some beneficial guidelines for using the card responsibly, especially if you are a first-time user.
1. Avoid multiple cards
Today, card companies provide different types of cards with various benefits. However, you must not give in to the temptation of holding multiple cards. You should limit yourself to just one card and use it responsibly.
2. Maintain a lower limit
Every credit card has a limit beyond which you cannot spend on purchases. You should maintain a lower limit, which will help you avoid the temptation of overspending on the card.
3. Pay the entire bill amount.
You can pay only the minimum due balance on the monthly card bills. However, you must pay the entire outstanding amount to avoid paying finance charges, which may be very steep and accumulate to a significant amount over some months. Additionally, you must pay the bill on or before its due date. This helps you build a good credit score and ensures you do not have to pay any late penalty charges.
4. Start slow
As a first-time user of credit cards, it is important that you slowly start using them for making emergency payments. You must continue using a debit card or cash to make most of your purchases until you are comfortable using your new card responsibly.
5. Keep track of usage
An important guideline is to keep track of every use of your card and review the bill each month to ensure no discrepancies. Moreover, you must never lend your card to anyone or give your number because you are responsible for paying any purchase made using your card.
6. Ensure the card remains active
Even if you use the card only for emergencies, it is important to ensure it remains active. You should make a minor purchase or two every few months. However, ensure you pay the bill amount well before the due date.
7. Avoid cash advances
You must never use your card for cash advances. This is because the rate of interest charged for such advances is higher and is chargeable immediately.
You must create a spending budget to ensure you do not overspend using the card. Moreover, if you think that the card becomes problematic, it is recommended that you discontinue its use for a short period. Finally, you must choose a card most appropriately suits your personal needs.