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Credit card tips
Credit Card Top Tips:
Successfully Manage Your First Credit Card

Applying for your very first credit card can feel like a major event – and in truth it is.  It's the moment when your attitude to your finances will really be tested, and it can set the tone for how you approach the issue of money for many years to come.

Being given a first credit card is a great responsibility.  That's why it pays to make sure you adopt good habits right from the very start.  So whether it's a student credit card or a standard one, it's important to pick up some useful credit card tips on how to manage it.

Be aware of your credit limit

When you get your first credit card and you see that you've been granted a credit limit which can stretch into four figures, it can be quite a temptation. But, if you have a limit of £2000, that doesn't automatically mean you have £2000 to spend.  You need to consider the limit on your first credit card (and any other credit card you may ever have) in association with how much you are earning.

£2000 is quite a lot of money, and if you only earn £1000 a month – some of which will go to pay for other necessities – then you can see that it will take you some time to pay off your balance if you go right up to your limit.  And that's without taking into account any interest you will surely be paying on your first credit card.

Know the amount of interest you will pay

Try and get into the habit of paying off your first credit card balance in full every month.  This applies whether you have a student credit card or another type of credit card.  If you don't, you will have to pay interest on your balance, which can be hefty.

Before you apply for your first credit card, it's worth looking around to see what kind of interest rates are offered.  Even though your goal is to pay the balance off every month, it can help to know what you will have to pay if you get caught short and have to leave some of the balance outstanding to pay off next month.

Rates of interest can vary enormously so make sure you know what your first credit card rate will be.

Check your monthly bill

Not everyone does this but mistakes can happen, so make sure you check your itemised statement every single month to ensure your account is in order.  If you see anything you don't recognise, query it with your card company.

Checking your bill can also help you to keep track of your spending habits.  This is particularly important with your first credit card, when the lure of a large credit limit can be too tempting to resist.

When considering credit card tips, make sure that using your credit card doesn't become second nature, where you go out and lose track of how much you are spending.  If you take control of your first credit card right from the word go, you'll get a lot of benefit from it.

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