Credit card offers are everywhere: they pop up on your computer screen at work; they speak to you at home via your TV; they arrive by mail advertising 0% interest rates; and they tempt you with exciting rewards like free airfares, dream vacations, and flashy merchandise. It’s hard for anyone to say no when faced with so many “good” offers: A good offer can turn into “really bad news” when you can’t make your payments, or make them on time, resulting in late fees and possibly an increased interest rate.
Of course, credit cards do serve a convenient purpose and, if you manage your credit cards carefully, they can be of great benefit to you. However, if they are misused, they can become a nagging headache that won’t go away easily.
Have a checkered past?
If you have a poor credit history due to late payments and nonpayment, credit card issuers will most likely consider you a high-risk potential customer. One way to make it over the bad-credit hurdle on your way to building a good credit rating is to obtain a secured credit card and pay it off regularly.
While it may be difficult for some of us to get a credit card — it’s not impossible. It’ll just take a little planning and perseverance, but you can begin to rebuild your credit history.
Here’s what you can do:
Your credit rating will improve over time, and you’ll be more likely to get a loan when you need it the most, such as when buying a home, or applying for a car loan.
Protecting your credit history can mean more than just practicing responsible spending habits, it also requires being careful with how you maintain the card and the account itself. As a card holder, remember these important tips:
In most states, credit card companies can change the terms of your credit card agreement with 15 days notice. To avoid any surprises in your credit card terms, always read the fine print in the flyer inserts accompanying your credit card statements.
If you’re overwhelmed by credit card debt, learn more about a Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions’ Debt Management Plan.