A credit card can sometimes be dangerous if not used properly but can be a valuable tool if you know how to use it in a responsible way. In fact, it’s the first step to build a strong financial and to establish a good credit score.
Lots of people between 18 to 25 ages nearly racked up with debt because they don’t know the importance of credit cards. You have to do a lot of struggle to repay the mountain of debts for years. So, if you don’t want to get in financial trouble in the future because of your credit card, here first learn how to use a credit card in a responsible way.
You don’t have to keep it on your locker to be a responsible cardholder; the key point is self-discipline. This means how you organize your credit card, your spending track, paying method, and more. All these factors make you a responsible cardholder. Likewise, you also have to properly use the benefits of the credit card because people misuse such a good benefit, which is the secret path to build an excellent credit score.
The tips which we are going to learn are not only helpful for a beginner but also useful for those people who are struggling to manage their credit. You might have an experience of using a credit card but don’t have those lacking key points to build a perfect credit history.
So, let’s learn these following handy tips on how to use a credit card in a responsible way without any further delay.
Also read: Smart Techniques to Build Good Credit
How to Use Credit in a Responsible Way | 7 Best Tips For Beginners to Use a Credit Card Responsibly
In order to be responsible cardholders, first, you have to follow certain rules, then only you can shine your credit card and able to put some value on it. So, what are the steps to be a good, responsible cardholder?
Set a Budget
First thing, you should concern about your budget that how much balance you have in your credit card. A card is the best way to purchase the items and to earn rewards, but it doesn’t mean that you should buy the things which you can’t afford. If you have a realistic idea of how much amount you should have to spend each month then, it can help a lot to reduce the burden of debt.
There are two factors where you can manage your budget – saving and spending. It’s not a mind-blowing strategy to maintain your budget but it helps you to reach your financial goal. If you balance the ratio between Saving and Spending then you can also get free from the debt.
The budgeting method suggests that the cardholders spend 50% on your take-home pay, such as groceries, 30% on the items which you don’t need, and 20% on your saving and paying off your debt. All these calculated percentages help you to keep your credit card spending on track. This also helps your income, saving, and spending flowing process on the proper line.
Avoid Credit Card Debt
Debt is like a devil; it will stab on your back if you didn’t take care of it properly. Like that, when you own a credit card, you will automatically link to the debt. So, it depends on you how much care you give to your credit card debt.
You can spend more money which you may not have in your pocket through the credit card. And that’s where the trouble began, you slowly stacking your debt, which will hamper your finances in the future. Let’s say the more money you spend on a purchase, the more likely it takes time to pay off your debt.
The solution behind to avoid your credit card debt is simple; only spend on items that you give some value. Avoid spending on larger items that you cannot afford – this only increase credit card debt. Though you have more balance in your card, it doesn’t mean that you have to fully spend it on purchase. It will take a long time to complete your debt because of this kind of behavior. Many people and even beginners don’t take the rules of credit cards seriously and get drown in the pool of debt.
Another most ideal way to avoid your credit card debt is the proper utilization of your card. Make sure your spending and your paying debt ratio are going on an equal track.
Pay Your Bills on Time
If you make a habit of paying bills on time, you are increasing your credit card overall health. You can escape from the late payment charges, which is the perfect way to build your credit. Most of the time, we forget to pay our bill before the due date, and when we pay it off afterward, we also have to pay extra interest charges. On the one hand, we are trying to build our credit; on the other hand, we are even more hurting our credit score.
If you want to build a strong credit history, your timely bill payment is the most important part. Credit card company doesn’t care whether you are a beginner or not, if you pay your bill on time each month, you are free; otherwise, pay extra charges.
Do you want to get in such a kind of trouble? Nobody wants!
Besides, most of the credit card issuers require only a minimum payment, which is a certain percentage of your outstanding balance. Well, it sounds like an easy method, but it will cost you even more. Let’s say when you make a minimum payment each month, and then you can somehow escape from the late payment. However, you have to deal with the consequences like it will take you forever to clear your debt. You pay and pay and pay, but it will lead you nowhere. It just feels like running in the treadmill of debt where you stuck in one specific place.
Likewise, paying only a minimum amount adds interest on your remaining balance each month. If you pay the full balance, you don’t have to pay any interest. So, pay your bill credit card balance each month to avoid any interest charges.
Keep Track on Your Spending
If you want to use a credit card responsibly, then you must learn to track your spending. Most of the beginners make a mistake on overspending. They don’t know how much money should be used each month to keep a balance of the credit card amount. Not only the beginners, but other cardholders also keep spending like water. At last, they are increasing the ratio of debt.
So, in order to track your spending, first always the items which you only needed. Sometimes, use your pocket cash instead of your credit card.
Regularly Check Your Statement
Your credit card issuer sends you a monthly statement of your detailed transaction from the previous billing cycle. You must make a habit to read your monthly billing statement even though you are paying your bills on time. Reading your statement helps to catch some errors which you are unaware of. Sometimes, you also may have unnecessary charges on your credit card, which taking your money even more. So once you find any unusual activity on your credit card, contact your card issuer any fix the issues.
Besides, most of the credit card comes with the $0 liability guarantee, which means you are not responsible for any criminal charges. But a cardholder can lose that guarantee if they don’t immediately report the errors. You also have to pay $50 for unauthorized charges if you wait too long to report the issues.
Take Advantage of Your Rewards
In the beginning, most of the cardholders don’t know to take advantage of the earned rewards. If you use the best rewards credit card, it will offer you a handful of benefits such as cashback, loyalty points, purchasing points, and more. You can use those earned rewards while making any purchase or bill payment, which helps you to save money.
So, don’t let your rewards go on waste, which you have collected after using a credit card. Some of the credit cards also let you redeem the rewards in cash, and some of them don’t, but you can use it in different things. You can redeem your rewards in dining, filling gas, traveling, in hotels, and more. However, some of the rewards have an expiry date, which will expire if you don’t use it within the time limitation. So, redeem them as soon as possible before you lose them.
Download the Mobile App
The mobile app lets the cardholders to examine the full report of their credit card. You can view the monthly statement and check your balance, available credit, payment report, and more. In addition, you can also report if your credit card gets lost or stolen. All you have to download the app, log in to your account, and easy to go. The mobile app is more faster and easy to use.
So in this way, you can use a credit card in a responsible way whether you are a beginner or irresponsible credit card user.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we have some of the frequently asked questions about the credit card. You might also find the solution to your other queries about a credit card from the following list down below.
How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?
Well, having a multiple credit card is good for your credit score, but if you can properly manage all of them, otherwise, you might hurt your credit score. You can have one or two or even more credit cards, but paying your monthly bills on time is more important.
Your credit card payment history makes up to 35% of your total FICO score, and your total debt amount is up to 30%. So, holding down your credit card gives you lots of benefits and good credit history. But, if you carelessly spend more and more, then you might get in trouble.
So, if you are a beginner, first start with an only credit card, learn how to utilize your credit properly. After that, you can apply for the new one, which has different rewards (cashback, discount, bonus, and more).
How Much Should I Spend on a $500 Credit Card?
If you have a credit limit of $500, then you can spend the entire balance each month, which is fine. But pay your bills on time for which you have spent on a purchase. Otherwise, you might have to pay the extra charges for your late payment and even have to pay more interest rate.
However, if you can pay your entire balance which you have spent, you don’t have to pay any interest for your balance.
Besides, if you want to spend more, ask for your credit issuer to increase the credit limit. Your credit limitation depends on your credit history. So try to improve your credit if you want to maximize your credit limitation.
Is There a Monthly Fee For a Credit Card?
Well, it depends on the credit card which you own. If you choose the credit card with an annual fee, then your fee will be automatically charged to your monthly fee. However, many of the credit card companies won’t charge an annual fee for 12 months. After that, a certain APR percentage of your card balance.
What is the Credit Limit on a Credit Card?
The credit limit is one of the important things which every cardholder must know. Your credit limit is the maximum outstanding balance of your credit card, which an issuer allows you to spend. Let’s say, if you have a credit limit of $5,000, then you can only spend up to your limit, higher than that won’t allow you to purchase any items.
Your credit limits set depends on your credit history. If you have a good credit history, you get a higher limit.
Credit cards can be so useful when you properly care for them but also can put you in a pool of debt if used carelessly. Till now, whether you have a poor credit history or just learning to use a credit card, it doesn’t matter. Follow the above-mentioned tips to raise both your credit card score and your financial structure.
It’s on your hand whether you want to get lost in a dessert of debt or want to enjoy your beautiful career ahead by utilizing the credit card.
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