The first day of the year is the start of your credit card numbers for the following year, and you are probably already anxious to find out what is on your credit report. If you aren't, then you really shouldn't be. Identity theft is a huge problem in the United States and it can have devastating results if you're not careful. If you're ready to take control of your own financial future, then read on to learn how to get prepared with your credit card numbers for the new year.
The first step you'll need to take to prepare for your credit card numbers for the new year is to order your credit reports from all three credit card bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). These reports will give you an overview of your credit history for the previous year, which will help you work toward improving your credit score. Ordering your credit card information now will help you avoid the last minute rush as many consumers do when the holidays approach and they begin trying to finalize everything they need for the New Year. While it may be tempting to wait until the last minute, this could prove to be the most crucial move you make towards better financial security.
Next, you'll need to write down all your credit card numbers for the year so that you know exactly what credit limits you have available to you, and any balances you've paid off. The easiest way to do this is by writing each account's number one time on a piece of paper. Then, add up all the amounts (credit limit, outstanding balance, minimum payment, etc.) to come up with your credit card numbers for the year.
You should also keep an eye out for expiration dates on your credit cards. Most credit cards only expire once, so if you notice a date close to your current date of expiration (such as a month before your current card is due for renewal), it might be a good idea to renew it immediately. If you don't do so, it could become overdue and thus canceled out by the time it expires, causing you to have to pay an exorbitant fee for a new credit card. By making sure you have up-to-date credit card information at all times, you'll avoid these fees.
And finally, you'll want to look over your credit card information again for errors or inconsistencies. Some people don't double check their information, either because they're lazy or they don't think it's important. Either way, it's a good idea to run a credit card check by law every 12 months, which will let you see if there are any mistakes in your credit card report that are messing with your ability to qualify for low interest rates, cash back, etc. This can prevent you from being taken advantage of.
Finally, you should consider how much credit you actually use each month. Do you really use all of your credit cards, or only a few? Are you planning on maxing out your credit cards and buying everything on credit, or only using a few? Do you think you might want to buy something a little bigger than what your credit card offers, such as a laptop? By thinking about all of these factors, you'll be able to find out which front and back cards you really need. Then, you'll be better prepared to look over your credit card numbers in the new year to make sure you still have the right ones!