How To Manage Your Credit Cards Wisely

Many people find credit cards to be frustrating. To make your credit card experience more fun and less frustrating, all it takes is the right advice. The piece that follows includes great ideas for making credit card usage a happier experience.

Each month, take the time to thoroughly go over your statement from your credit card company. Always verify the accuracy of new charges you see on the statement. Call your credit card provider immediately if you see any incorrect totals or charges that you didn’t make. It is always easier to deal with disputes, and resolve them, when they are reported immediately.

Many people mistakenly decide not to get credit cards so it looks like they have no debt. You will never be able to build a good credit report if you do not have at least one open credit account, and a credit card is great way to start building your credit.

Charge things on it, but try to repay the full balance ever month (or at least more than the minimum). If you have no credit at all, it can actually reflect negatively on you and result in a low credit score because potential lenders cannot tell if you can manage your debts or not. A person with no credit looks like a “ghost case” to creditors.

Review all the credit card accounts you have and think about closing those that you do not use. But be advised that if do not have very much credit, then closing down a credit line could lower your credit score (because it lowers your debt to credit ratio, and makes it look like you’re using more of your available credit) – so depending on your situation, it may be more beneficial to just pay off the accounts that you don’t use anymore, but keep them open and store them away in a safe place.

When an old account is closed, people won’t be able to use it fraudulently. You can close accounts you don’t use, even if they carry a balance. You can keep paying the balance until it’s paid in full. But again, weigh things out carefully before you decide to close out a credit account completely.

Make sure to sign your cards as soon as your receive them. A lot of places need a signature so they can match it to your card, which makes it safer to buy things.

When shopping around for a credit card, stick to reputable, well-known companies. More perks usually come with these cards, and the company often has well-defined business practices. If you want the power that major credit cards can provide , you should deal with big credit card companies. Since your credit report is at stake, this is important.

Commit to reduce or eliminate any balances carried on your cards. By doing this, you will improve your financial health, as well as your credit score. Set a budget that allows you to pay a little more than the minimum every month.

Most experts agree that the maximum limit on your credit card should not exceed 75% of your monthly salary. If your limit is higher than this amount, it’s best you pay it off immediately. This is because the interest you are paying will quickly snowball out of control.

As stated previously, credit cards are a constant source of fear and frustration. With the right advice, however, managing your credit cards can be much easier.

38 thoughts on “How To Manage Your Credit Cards Wisely

  1. Credit cards help us purchase items that we need. However, we should not abuse them, or else we become drowned because of debt.

  2. Great Article! As someone who’s a first timer in credit cards, the tips written here are very informative. Owning a credit card comes with great responsibilities and this article has pointed out most of it. It has also given information that I haven’t heard before about credit cards! These will surely come in handy in the future! Thanks for this great article!

    1. The future is now. From my experience and from the trends that I see in the world, cash is no longer king, plastic is!

  3. This article put my perspective of debt scare into a whole new light. As a future graduate, this information shall be useful if there will be a time that I will be managing a lot of expenses. I was also surprised with the idea of how owning a credit card can provide a good credit report that can boost my confidence on loans. Thank you again!

  4. Its true that credit cards can ruin us financially – but this article says it can bring us happiness if managed properly. I agree since I use credit cards for a long time now, it caused me only few troubles along the way, and indeed gave me access to enjoy life more in travel and shopping exeperience, I just did what was written here.

  5. Going over your credit card company statements regularly is some very good advice. People often take that for granted how useful this is in the case that someone may be trying to scam you.

  6. Many people view credit cards as an ominous tool created to hoodwink people into more debt. The negative perception on credit cards has been around for a quite awhile but such is not unfounded; when used improperly, the interest rates charged on late payments can spiral out of control. The harms of the credit card, however, are derivatives of mismanaged finances and bad spending behaviour of the user but are not intrinsic to the credit card itself. Hence, I agree with this article when it reminds users to be constantly vigilant when using his credit card–monthly checkups of billing statements, paying more than the minimum every month, and closing of accounts to avoid frauds are all crucial steps in ensuring the credit card does not wreak havoc on the user.

  7. I think with the right information (like this article), people are equipped with the right way to go about things. I was also worried the first time I got my credit card. I made a mistake of allowing my interest to snowball beyond control. Reading this might give me enough confidence to try again and do it right. It definitely gave me some insight into how credit cards can actually work to my advantage!

  8. I find that having a credit card is a great freedom, but with that freedom comes responsibility. I find the mention about how people mistakenly decide not to get a credit card to be very helpful and something that people who are first seeking to become financially secure should listen to. In today’s world, having a good credit report is a vital asset, making credit cards often a necessity.

  9. Thank you very much for this kind of information,because I’m hesitated to open a credit card because of so many scammers here in our country. I learned that you have to open at least one or two credit card for credit scores. I am glad that I read this article of yours.

  10. Thank you very much for the information,because I’m hesitated on opening a credit card. But in this article, it cleared my mind that I have to open a credit card at least one or two. I am so thankful that I read this article of yours.

  11. Oh, man–Yes. I have to agree on this article: We must use our credit cards wisely. However speaking, in my country, only businessmen earn credit cards–and by any means, there are no businessmen that are 100% debt-free. That way, credit cards are used to manage their own due expenses, as well as debt.

    ((P.S.: Another thing that credit cards can do is cashless transaction. It is useful for international payments, such as Amazon.))

    1. You’re right about Amazon, hard to buy anything off there with using some plastic. Heck, Amazon even offers their own credit card!

  12. Yes, this is all great advice. What I do is I have a credit card, but I only use it for gas for my car. I only use it for that, because currently I don’t necessarily NEED great credit, but doing so will help to where when I do need credit, I’ll have a good score because I paid back fully each transaction!

  13. All it takes is the right advice – that’s given but not unless the holder has no self control over spending, then it would defeat its purpose later on. But this article is helpful in many ways. But then, really, some people have fear over having credits cards on their wallet because its either they see some of their friends who exceeds their limit and was drowned to debt or they know themselves that they aren’t good in resisting their wants most of the time. Its a different story if you really do have that discipline in you, but if you don’t have the confidence that you will not spend more than what is necessary then just leave your card at home and bring some cash, though it will not be the case always.

    1. Great advice Alexa. And if people don’t have the confidence to manage their finances, then it is a skill that needs to be developed just like any other.

  14. Thank you for the wonderful tips. Building a good credit score by owning a credit card, using it and paying on time is wise considering a person may need a bigger loan in the future.

  15. There is so much wisdom in the piece of advice about checking your credit card statements monthly. Once a year, one of my credits cards are stolen and fraudulent charges are made. Thankfully, the credits that I have provide fraud protection, so I am not responsible for others trying to cheat me.

    1. Once a year?? That’s a bit too much. Glad you have fraud protection, but still watch how you use and expose your card information – especially when making purchases online.

  16. In the past I got into trouble with huge credit card debt when I lost my job. These guidelines are helpful for rebuilding or maintaining good credit. Thanks for the good advice.

  17. I am currently battling with myself on how to pay off my credit card balance. I used to pay only the minimum due only to realize that my balance appears to be the same amount every month. Technically, I think I am just paying the interest / monthly fee. I am not sure how the interest computation works. Any idea how? Appreciate it.

    1. Check you credit card statement thoroughly. All the information and breakdown should be there for your review. It’s the law. But definitely, you will get nowhere fast paying the minimum. You will just wind up paying interest out the wazoo and could very well be paying for years to come. Not a good picture.

  18. I think that the message here is that you need a credit card, even if you really don’t want one, because at some point potential lenders will want to know if history suggests that you’re going to pay your mortgage every month before they give you a loan, for example. Credit cards can be great if you’re good and do what you’re supposed to do, like monitoring your account, making timely payments, and budgeting accordingly, but if you don’t follow the rules, skip out on payments, or make wrong choices, your credit score will sink, thus making your life miserable because no bank will want to give you a mortgage for that first house you want to buy.

    1. Thanks for commenting Mia. Yes, credit cards or some type of credit account(s) is important to start establishing early on because in this world credit will come into play whether we like it or not – especially for larger purchases.

  19. Thank you very much for the information, I had no idea that not owning a credit card may actually lower your credit score in the future. Also I liked the credit score upgrade ways you mentioned!

    1. Yep Luiz, oftentimes no credit can be looked upon worse than bad credit because creditors can’t even begin to gauge your financial history. Now you don’t have to necessarily own a credit card to build credit; you can build credit through loans and other means as well.

  20. I absolutely agree of those credit card advises! Especially, when you should commit to reduce or eliminate any balances carried on your cards.

  21. I find this article really helpful at least for me who’s young and just got my credit card after so long. The first months I had my card I was just swiping everything on it without even giving attention to my statements at all, as long as in my mind I pay the minimum every month. Though luckily I haven’t have any disputes nor mismatches so far but it does not hurt to be careful, right? This definitely will make me wiser ten fold!

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