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Getting your first credit card is a financial milestone. Your credit card can become an essential tool that builds your credit and helps you manage your money. But too many credit card rookies have gotten in trouble with debt and fees, while others simply miss out on important benefits. (See also: What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Credit Card)
If you are about to apply for your first credit card, or are already using it, be careful not to make these six common mistakes.
1. Failing to Read the “Fine Print”
Getting a credit card is an important financial decision, and you need to read the details before choosing one. Thankfully, the most important terms and conditions of credit cards aren’t even written in fine print anymore. By law, credit card offers must show all of the interest rates and fees in a standard format and in large print, in what’s called the Schumer Box. And while you don’t need to hire a lawyer to go over every single sentence, you should understand the interest rates being charged and all of the fees you could incur.
2. Applying for the First Offer Without Comparing Interest Rates
When you are considering a credit card offer, you should take a close look at the standard APR (annual percentage rate) for purchases, and compare it to competing cards. Interest rates vary widely from card to card. If your account…
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