Welcome to the wonderful world of credit. It comes in many different shapes and forms, including; credit cards, loans and overdrafts. Each has their advantages. However, each are unique in how you manage them, ensuring that the credit that is borrowed is paid back, as per any agreement.
Of course, each form of credit lending is different:
Usually used for bigger, one-off, credit amounts. This lump sum that is normally paid directly into your bank account is normally used one bigger value products. It can be used to pay for a new car, holiday or even if you want to start your own business.
A monthly repayment schedule is set up when you take out the loan, so you know exactly what you need to repay each month. It is a very structured approach to borrowing.
This form of lending is tagged on to your current account and allows you to borrow extra money that isn’t there. It acts like a buffer to many people. Should your spending result in your account becoming overdrawn, then an agreed overdraft ensures that you are not charged by your bank account.
When overdrafts are set up, there is normally a time frame that is agreed for it to stay open. Providing you remain in credit, after your monthly or weekly wages have entered you account, this form of lending is easy to manage.
These act almost like a debit card. However, you do not pay your wages into this account. A ‘credit’ account is created, much like a loan which can be constantly accessed. The amount of credit is set and, providing you pay back what you have spent on the card, you can carry on using it as often as you like.
There is no set time frame that a credit card account remains open for. Lenders are happy to provide you with this credit facility, providing that balances are paid and the account balances at zero.
Managing a credit card account may seem easy, however you will be surprised to know that not everyone can effectively manage their credit card account. This guide is here to help you.
Managing Your Credit Card Account
As stated above, having access to a credit card account can be a very useful way to borrow money, from time to time. However, people can get this management all wrong. Some people that have mismanaged their credit card accounts have had to rely on credit card consolidation to help them repay what they owe.
This guide can help you ensure that your credit card is managed in a responsible way.
Step One – Keeping Your PIN Safe and Secure
The first step in effectively managing your credit card account is to keep your details as safe and secure as possible. This starts with your PIN.
Do not store your PIN card on anything. Your best bet is to remember your PIN straightaway so you do not have to take the PIN out of the house. Doing this will leave the safety and security of your credit card account under threat.
Step Two – Check Your Bill Online
Most credit card providers will allow you to check your bill online. You must get into the habit of being organised and checking it when you see fit. This could be a very days after transactions, or at the end of every month. Keep receipts of what you have spent so you can double check that what you have spent matches with your online bill.
Step Three – Pay It Off
Keeping on top of your credit account is a must. Try and pay off the balance, in full, at the end of each month or when you get paid from your employer. If you are self-employed, try and clear the balance when you have the enough funds.
If you start to struggle paying off and clearing the credit card account balance, you may have to start investigating credit card consolidation loans. Provided you cut up the credit card and do not use the credit card account, you will be able to clear your debt as quickly and effectively.
Pay clearing whatever balance has accumulated on the account minimises the risk of having to pay any late payment charges and fees. Paying your monthly bill late can affect your credit rating, which can affect any future credit applications you make.
Step Four – Setting Up A Direct Debit Can Be A God Send
As detailed on step three, paying off or clearing your balance, will ensure that you are effectively managing your credit card account. Setting up a Direct Debit is one of the easiest ways you can keep on top of this.
Step Five – Remain Within Your Credit Card Limit
Your credit card account will have a credit limit applied to it. Although there is no time limit on keeping the account open, staying with your credit limit will ensure that you can carry on using the credit card for as long as you need to.
If you fail to keep within the credit card limit you are leaving yourself exposed to a number of negative scenarios. If you do not keep within your credit card limit, the following will affect you:
- Your credit rating will be negatively affected.
- Charges and Fees may be applied to your credit card account.
- Repayment amounts may increase.
- Credit limit reduction.
Step Six – Protecting Your Credit Card Account
You can go about protecting your credit card account in a number of different ways. Each way will offer you certain benefits that ensure your credit card account is kept safe and secure. One way is to protect your card against fraudulent use. Most credit card providers will already cover you for this when you start using your credit card account. Another way to protect your credit card account is to protect your payments. There are a number of insurances that can help you with this. They can ensure that your repayments are paid regardless of whether you lose your job or become too sick to work.