Managing Your Credit Cards
As spring draws closer and most start to feel themselves getting spring fever, many take the time to do some much needed spring cleaning as the weather gets warmer. If you’re looking for Boerne custom builders
to build your new home, or if you’ve recently moved into a new Weston Dean Custom home, spring cleaning might be just what you need as you make this transition. However, spring-cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to just your home. It is always a good idea to do a clean up of how well you’re treating your finances as well. If you have credit cards, like many Americans do, take a look at the following tips to best manage your credit.
A good starting point to make sure your being more vigilant about fraud. Even if you have an EMV card, it is still important to be cautious with your information and how you use it. The gas station pumps are one of the biggest places to be cautious since it will still be several months before self-service pumps will be required to card and EMV reader.
Speaking of EMV cards, be sure to make the switch to an EMV card this year. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, which are chip cards that comply with the deadline for new rules and standards on fraud that went effect last October. These new cards contain a computer chip, which makes them less susceptible for fraudsters to counterfeit. You may have noticed stores complying with this new rule in their credit card readers. If you haven’t received or been notified about your Chip card, contact your card issuer and ask when you will be receiving it.
Another tip is to freeze your credit. Placing a freeze on your credit makes things a lot more difficult for identity theft. Freezing your credit is something that cannot be detected in your file and it won't hurt your credit at all either. You can freeze your credit by contacting each of the 3 major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You’ll need to supply them with your basic information and plan to pay $5-$10 per bureau, depending on where you live.
Be sure to educate yourself on the best practices when it comes to your credit cards as well. Did you know that 51% of Americans wrongfully believe that their credit card accounts with high balances help their scores as long as they are paid on time? This is one of the major myths that shows why it is important to educate yourself and your family, to make sure you are doing everything correctly and as it should be done.
Data breaches are on the rise and in 2014, nearly 20% of American households suffered a data breach. This makes it very important to monitor your credit reports and statements for signs of fraud.
Lastly and most importantly, start paying off your credit card debt in 2016. This is one of the most effective ways to bump up your credit score, is to pay off your “amounts owed.” This is 30% of your FICO score’s calculation. Stat by prioritizing your credit card payments and the card with the highest annual percentage rate. You might also want to consider opening a balance-transfer credit card, which allows you to move expensive debt over to the new card, with a low or 0% APR for a certain period of time. Just be sure to read the fine print.
These simple tips can have your credit cards and safety on the upswing in 2016!
Weston Dean Homes is a San Antonio area custom home builder. For more information call (210) 408-9107.