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Tips to make you card smart

Manage your spending and maintain a good credit history

Credit cards and charge cards are important financial management tools that allow you to purchase the things you want sooner – and pay for them later. But, because cards are so convenient, it can be tempting to overuse them, and overspend your budget.

Being card smart includes knowing how to manage your spending and realising the importance of having a good credit history.

These simple tips can help you be even more card smart:

1. Know your credit limit and don’t exceed it.

2. Know the due date of your payment and be disciplined about making sure your financial institution receives your payment on time.

3. Always pay at least the minimum due on your credit card to keep your account in good standing.

4. Avoid interest charges by paying your credit card balance in full each month.

5. Use online account management tools to keep track of your card spending. That way, there are no surprises when your statement arrives.

6. Avoid taking cash advances. They often incur a fee and can add to your debt and borrowing levels.

7. Make a budget, and stick to it. Track your spending to help you remain aware and in control of your purchasing behaviour.

8. Regularly review your monthly statements to ensure that there are no errors or unauthorised charges on your account.

9. Check your credit bureau file once a year to verify that your credit information is correct. This will help to ensure that your information is accurate and up to date. You can request a copy of your credit file from the credit bureau and have it sent free of charge within 10 working days. You can choose to have a copy sent within 24 hours for a fee.
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