If you have a substantial collection of credit cards, and you’re always getting late notices on them from the credit card companies, you may want to consider shopping around for new cards. Here are a few ways to do it.
First, go through your current credit cards and write down the numbers that interest you. This will help you determine which cards are being reported by the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can start with these numbers to find out which cards are a pain in the neck to report to the credit agencies.
Now, look at your current credit card balance and see if it is less than $300, and make a note of the amount of time that has passed since you first applied for the card. If the card has low minimum balances, these might be the cards you need to focus on. You don’t have to pay the full balance on the cards if you can’t cover the minimums, but the higher minimum balances will become more affordable as the billing period goes on.
Next, take a look at your credit report to find out if you have any special interest rates, late fees, or any other problems with your report. You can contact the three credit bureaus and ask them to check your report, so they can tell you what to expect.
It is important to not wait until you get a notice from one of the bureaus before checking your report. You should take some action right away if you notice any errors.
Now, it is a good idea to cancel any cards that are close to the minimum amounts for all three bureaus. If you don’t have enough credits to pay the full amount on one of the cards, you probably won’t be able to make your payments, and the credit card company will send you a bill. If you can pay the minimums, you’ll make a better score.
Finally, close the cards you have with the smallest balances first. By closing the smallest account first, you can do more of your homework in eliminating cards that report late. By using the minimum amounts and setting up automatic payments, you will find that your credit limit will increase and your rating will improve.
Keep in mind that the credit reports have to be received by the three credit bureaus before you can dispute anything. Once you receive your credit report, you can make an inquiry on the accounts that report late and eliminate them.
If the cards are outstanding, you can also go online and obtain copies of your credit report, from all three credit bureaus. You should also make sure that the amounts of your credit cards are correct, and that the information in your report is accurate. If the accounts are inaccurate, you will also want to check with each of the three bureaus to make sure the information is correct.
Now that you know how to begin shopping for new credit cards, there are several things you need to keep in mind. First, don’t go over your credit limit on any of the cards. Even though you’re working to get rid of the credit cards that are costing you more money than they are worth, you should only use the credit limit you have available on any of the cards to make purchases.
Second, you want to keep track of the number of charges that are reported on your report, so you can see a great number of them per month. Then, when you pay off the card with the least charges, you’ll be able to pay the card that has the least charges to one that has fewer charges.