With the global economy going through economic turmoil right now, the availability of credit is a major factor that is keeping the markets sputtering. Many people have lost their jobs, homes and eventually their credit. Therefore, getting a traditional credit card may be impossible for some individuals.
When I sold cars, I understood how many people had a hard time managing the credit cards and other expenses. I would often times give them advice as to how they could easily manage their credit (cards). Here are some some the ways I shared with them how to manage their credit cards and indirectly their credit.
Get Rid of That Plastic
The first advice I give to people about managing their credit is this: “If you can’t manage it, get rid of it.” And I will tell you that today, if that card is burning your pocket, cut it up and pay it off in a timely manner.
Ask for a Lower Interest rate
If you are the type of person that has been very disciplined and actually meets your credit obligations, why not call your bank ever so often (twice per year) and ask for a lower interest rate. My first credit card card was with NEA (now a part of Bank of America), the interest rate that they charged me at the time was something close to 24%. However, a few years years, I was able to get it below 15% by calling in a few times per year and letting them know in no uncertain terms that I deserve a lower interest rate. If you want it, ask for it is my philosophy.
Use Your Card Infrequently
Once your card has been paid off, I would suggest that you use it very infrequently. I say use your card, because if you do not, the bank may close your account. I found out the hard way that banks don’t like dead-beat customers, especially Bank of America. To big banks especially, dead beat customers are also customers who have no-annual fee cards, pay off their balances every month when they actually use the card, and rarely use their cards. They may threaten to close your account if you don’t use it periodically.
Make Your Points Useful
Personally, I love credit cards. Who is going to give you money to spend, without even knowing who you are? Not only do they give you money, they also give you an incentive to use their money. They know that some people don’t have the self restraint to prevent themselves from overspending. Therefore, it is up to you to make sure that you control yourself; use your card wisely and take advantage of those usage point. I love going to the restaurant knowing that it is technically free.
Credit cards can be very useful to you if you manage them carefully. Credit cards are especially useful when you have to travel, rent cars or carry out financial transactions online. However, if think that you cannot afford to pay for things that you are buying, do not get one.