Yes, credit cards can be useful financial tools if they are used responsibly--unfortunately, credit cards are highly mishandled, everyday and all across the globe. Too many see these as a means to an end, or a reason to splurge on those things they wouldn't ordinarily have considered purchasing. Furthermore, financial experts find that too many turn to credit cards to support their monthly living expenses, something that is a financially suffocating lifestyle. Remember though, individuals or families who use credit cards right can really benefit financially! This can help boost credit scores and illustrate strong credit worthiness. Financial experts also insist that blind refusal to credit cards can create long-term financial mistakes. You don't just want any credit card either. If your current credit score is significant enough you can capture a great card with low interest rates. Remember, using it wisely can really boost your credit score. Let's examine some of the most critical do's and don'ts of credit cards within Canada today.
Top 8 Do's and Don'ts with Regard to Credit Cards
Just remember to use your card or cards only for high priority items and you will avoid the pitfalls that so many Canadians suffer from. The headache and hassle is often brought on by mistakes, but you can be smart when you're trying to build your credit, there's no doubt about it!
- Many Canadians are already aware of this one "don't", but here it is anyway--you should never use half of your credit available! The maximum should be 30% to 35% of your credit, because in this way you'll show lenders that you don't need that credit card to live month to month. It proves your smart and credit worthy!
- You don't need more than 3 credit cards, and 3 is really pushing it. If you have too many credit cards in your wallet, this can hurt your credit versus helping it. Why? Imagine using 30% of all three at a time. This illustrates you are living on credit--because you're just shuffling it around. It's okay to have 3, but watch how you use them! With credit cards come responsibility and often times too many leads to disaster, or rather, temptation in over spending.
- You should choose credit cards with a low interest rate, ALWAYS! If you can't get that then our advice is to wait until your credit is a little better. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada can help give concise details and help on what to look for and what to expect!
- It should be common sense to know to pay your bill in full every month to avoid those higher interest fees and other penalties credit card companies just love to apply when you don't! So, don't overspend and you'll be able to do this.
- Don't succumb to those cash advances so many credit cards now provide to trustworthy customers. You can easily get sucked in and then have a hard time recovering from this. Try to avoid cash advances at all costs!
- Don't lose receipts! You should always record and file receipts so that if a charge comes up questionable you have something to go to in order to refute it. This also keeps your finances streamlined, with regard to credit card transactions.
- Make sure you read the fine print of any credit card you sign up for. If you don't, you can only blame yourself.
- Sign up for spending alerts if you feel you can't keep track of how much you're spending. This will ensure you don't go over a budget and you stay within that 30% median of credit card usage.