In the credit card world, bankers and card providers love customers who have a relaxed approach to their credit card with no interest in the rates that they pay, how they use their cards or even how much they pay off each month.
Here are our top tips to avoid becoming one of those customers as each mistake could lead you into a financial ditch and ruin your credit.
Making the Minimal Payment
Credit card issuers love customers who only make the minimum repayment each month as it means that they will keep that customer for years, taking a large chunk of the repayment in interest. Pay as much as you can towards your credit card debt could see you debt free in less time and save you that extra bit which would go towards interest. Lower minimum repayments would make credit cards seem more affordable to those who might not be able to afford them otherwise, whilst making a lot of money for the banks.
Avoid missing or making late payments
Failing to clear your balance at the end of each month or to make the minimum payment will see you charged for a ‘missed payment’. Setting up a direct debit payment to your credit card to pay off the total if you think that you’ll forget
Not knowing your credit score before applying
One of the problems of credit cards is that you don’t know whether you’ll be accepted, or what your credit limit you’ll be offered until you’ve actually applied. If you are declined, it could leave a negative impact on your credit score if you keep trying for credit. It is worth checking your credit profile before you apply, ensuring that all the information is correct and that you have that chance to raise your score before applying for a credit card.
Avoid taking out cash (unless . . .no, never!)
Withdrawing cash from a cash machine using a credit card is like throwing money away. Most card issuers now charge a 2-3% fee for cash withdrawals and charge interest on the withdrawal straight away. It is also highly likely you will be charged a higher APR on the card.
DO shop around for the best APR rates
So many credit cards now offer interest free periods on purchases and balance transfers but with everything you should always shop around for the best APR rates that suit your financial situation. A common example, a customer signs up to a 0% interest credit card, spends the whole month splashing out because they don’t have to worry about any interest rates but when the bill comes it tells a different story. Quite often 0% rates only apply to balance transfers and not to purchases.