Getting your first credit card can be exciting. But as we all know, ‘adulting’ comes some responsibilities. Being irresponsible with your credit card has consequences, and can affect your credit score. Read below to find out how to be responsible with your card and avoid financial problems.
- Create a budget and stick to it: Having a credit card for the first time can be exciting, but you need a plan to stick to. It is important to know your budget and have a plan for how you spend your money.
- Pay off the balance each month: If you are following your budget, paying off your balance each month should not be a problem. Just paying the minimum will result in more fees down the line. Paying in full each month will help avoid interest fees, which will improve your credit score.
- Pay your bill on time: Paying on time is one of the most important details of owning a credit card. Late fees can add up, and late payments negatively impact your credit score more than almost anything else.
- Don’t freely share your credit card information: Keep your credit card information private. Don’t give away your account number via email or over the phone to just anyone. When entering your credit card, always make sure you are on a secure site, or speaking to a legitimate company.
- Don’t go over the limit: If you go over your limit, you’ll incur additional fees for spending more credit than you were given.
- Pay attention to what your credit card issuer sends you: Don’t ignore what they are sending you. Most of the time, that information is important. They might be notifying you about annual fees or increases in certain fees that affect you directly.
- Monitor your card activity: This may seem obvious, but many people forget to check their card activity often. Sign up for text or email updates to keep track of your spending and better manage your budget.