Six Tips for Credit Card Beginners


There's a lot to know about credit and ignorance can prove to be extremely costly to your pockets and your credit score. It helps to know at least the basics about credit, even before you get your first credit card. Understanding how credit and credit cards work helps you make the right decisions about choosing and using your first credit card.

There are different types of credit cards
Even though credit cards have the same shape and size, they don't have the same terms and conditions. Before you apply for your first credit card, learn what options you have. You'll be more likey to choose the right credit card if you know what's out there.

Credit cards have features
Credit cards have features - like interest rate and credit limit - that also influence your decision for or against a particular credit card. The features affect the cost of the credit card.

Charges are billed (about) once a month
There's more to credit card billing than getting a statement in the mail every month. For example, you might get two statements in one month if your billing cycle is under 30 days. Understanding the billing process helps you understand how and why your creditor charges you each month.

Most credit cards come with fees
Credit card companies make money by charging fees. You can avoid most credit card fees by making different decisions about the credit card you apply for or the way you pay your bills.

Choose credit cards with care
Credit cards can become extremely expensive, especially if you choose one that's not right for you. The type of card and the fees and features of the card are all factors that come into play when you're choosing a credit card.

The first credit card might be hard to get
Credit card companies aren't always willing to give credit cards to first-time credit card users. Knowing where to apply for your first credit card will protect your credit score by keeping credit card applications to a minimum.