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5 Tips For New Credit Card Holders

Here's how to be a responsible card holder.Owning a credit card for the first time can be a pretty exciting experience. But making purchases without cash or a debit card can lead to overspending and regret, so it’s important to be a responsible credit card holder.

Here are five tips on how to maximize your credit card savings and rewards while reducing your potential debt:

Line up your due date with other bills. In order to ensure that you pay your credit card bill on time every month, request that your due date be the same as for your other bills.

Whether you pay your phone, utilities or rent, you probably have other bills to pay. Lining up the due dates should remove the “I forgot to pay” possibility.

Use 30% or less of your credit limit. Your credit score is determined in part by how much credit you use.

When you reach the credit limit on your cards, your credit score will go down and potential lenders will view you as a risk.

If you maintain a balance well below your limit, it shows you can use credit responsibly without “needing” the money. As a result, your credit score should improve.

Check your account balance often. Sometimes credit card issuers make mistakes. Try to view your online credit card statement at least once a week to ensure there are no fraudulent or accidental charges.

You might also want to sign up for a money management tool that allows you to view all financial accounts from one location to save time.

If you’re charged a fee, ask for a refund. If you miss a payment or have to pay an annual fee, call up your credit card company and ask for a one-time refund.

Most issuers will give you your money back to ensure you’re a long-time customer. All it takes is 5 minutes and a polite conversation.

Add a co-signer for better terms. Credit cards designed for first timers may require a co-signer for approval. Co-signers with excellent credit can reduce the interest rate on the credit card you’ll receive.

If you use a co-signer, remember to be careful. Any mistakes they make, you will pay for.

If you’re ready to find that first card, you can compare credit card offers in our extensive database.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Earl said:
    on July 26th at 12:01 am

    Good luck finding a co-signer. I wouldn’t do it in a million years. You’d probably better off trying a store credit card such as Sears as a first credit card. Don’t screw that up and you should be able to get a major card in a year or so.

  2. Joel said:
    on July 27th at 10:15 am

    If you use a co-signer, remember to be careful. Any mistakes _you_ make, _they_ will likely pay for. …and the chance that you will damage your friend’s/family member’s credit (and your relationship with them) may not worth the savings you would get.