Credit cards are a major part of how Americans buy items every day. Over the last year alone, credits were made for $2.6 trillion worth of purchases in the United States alone. With so much credit activity going on, it can be easy for individuals to lose track of their own financial information over time.

The convenience of credit cards does have a downside — too often our personal financial information is vulnerable to those who want to abuse it, or we ourselves overextend what we can actually afford to purchase and pay for. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to use credit cards wisely.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Pay off the balance every month: When you get your credit card bill at the end of the month, you should pay off the entire balance and not just make the minimum payment. This will help your credit score, as well as allowing you to avoid fees and interest rates.
  • Keep track of your account total: You should check your bank account balance on a regular basis to ensure you have enough money to pay back what you are spending. The last thing you want to do is overextend yourself and not be able to make a payment.
  • Limit the number of cards you have: One of the ways people fall into a cycle of spending and debt is by using too many credit cards that they cannot pay back. You can avoid this problem by limiting the amount of credit cards you have to only one or two.

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