The Top Ten Things to Do Before You Apply For a Credit Card

by Mario AL Churchill - Date: 2007-02-23 - Word Count: 555 Share This!

Credit cards are convenient and safe to carry. They have their own advantages and disadvantages however, and these have to be weighed before you make any purchases using your credit card. There are several rules you will need to follow before you even apply for a credit card, and these include the following.

1. Keep only, at most, two credit cards. This will allow you to have back up if one credit card does not work.

2. If you think that a new credit card has better incentives than the card or cards that you currently hold, wait until you can replace one of your cards before applying for a new one.

3. Check with the credit card company if you can have your annual fees waived. Some annual fees can be expensive, draining your wallet further.

4. If you are applying for the credit card online, check if the credit card company server is secure. You can check this by looking at the status bar of your web browser. If you see a padlock icon, this means that your information is relatively safe from hackers.

5. If you can find reports on the credit card company's track record, see if they have had any major cases of identity theft. Such records should be for public use, and they can tell you how secure the credit card company's resources are.

6. Determine whether you are availing of the credit card because you want to spend conveniently, or because you want to avail of incentives. Some credit card companies offer cash back guarantees on as much as one percent of your total purchases using your credit card. Other credit card companies can translate your accumulated points into airline miles. Yet other credit card companies can offer you gifts the more you spend using your credit card. In all these cases, you may be forced into spending more.

7. Check your savings account and assess if you will be able to pay your credit card bills in full. Credit card companies charge high interest on unpaid debt, and, once these debts accumulate, they can force you into bankruptcy.

8. Make sure that the credit card company has twenty four hour customer support. This will allow you to immediately report stolen or lost credit cards, or contest any parts of your billing statement that should not be credited to you.

9. Study your spending habits. Are you living beyond your means, or do you save more than you spend? Are your earnings replenishing your savings, or do you spend everything that you earn? A credit card should make spending convenient for you, but it can also give the illusion that you are spending nothing. If you are a natural spender, acquire some discipline in your purchasing habits before applying for a credit card.

10. Be prepared to disclose all information, including anything that pertains to credit cards that you may have held in the past. This can help the credit card company in assessing your credit standing. If you are in good credit standing, then your credit card, once approved, will have a high credit limit.

A credit card is convenient to have, and easy to use. However, it can turn big spenders into even bigger spenders, so you have to know your habits and inclinations in great detail before making any plunge. Only then can you use your credit card wisely, and thus enjoy the benefits it offers.

Related Tags: apply for credit card, apply credit card, apply credit card online

Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written many articles on various subjects. If you looking to apply for credit card rewards offers or to just apply for a credit card online checkout his websites.

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