Credit can be convenient. But to make sure the way you’re using credit is better for you than it is for the credit provider -- read How Credit Works. In Credit Cards, take a look at a typical card’s anatomy, from the account number to the magnetic strip.
Part of staying ahead in the credit game means not charging beyond your means. Plastic: Power or Peril explains that what can really cause trouble is charging more than you’re able to pay off. And keep in mind that in order to use your card wisely, you need to understand the fine print. Learn about such details as your credit limit, the minimum payment due, and credits in Your Monthly Statement.
It takes time to prove you can handle credit well. In Building a Credit History, find out what’s behind a good FICO or credit score. And if you are Dealing With Credit Problems, you’ll need to learn what your rights and responsibilities are to help sort things out.