Shop around for the lowest interest rate on your credit card.

Financial Football

The Do's

DO shop around for the best credit card deal. Use the Internet.

DO read the fine print and be aware of promotional periods that may end without notice.

DO ask questions. If you don't understand a term, ask.

DO be wary of anyone who claims they can "fix" your credit. Only time and a positive payment history can fix a credit report.

DO review your statement carefully for unauthorized charges.

DO be careful with your card. Keep your bank's phone number and your credit card number on hand in a safe place in case it's lost or stolen.

DO view credit as an investment in your future. A good credit history will open doors and allow you to rent an apartment, get a job, buy a car.

DO order your free copy of your credit report annually at, or call 1-877-322-8228. Check the report carefully for accuracy.

The Don’ts

DON'T feel pressure to get a credit card if you don't want one.

DON'T pay your bills late. Late payments hurt your credit rating.

DON'T use your credit card for things you can’t afford. A credit card is a loan with an obligation to repay.

DON'T apply for more credit cards if you are carrying balances on other cards.

DON'T ignore signs of trouble. If you pay only the minimum, pay late, or use cash advances for living expenses, you’re living in the credit "danger zone."

DON'T give out your card number unless you've initiated the transaction.

DON'T use any website other than to request your free credit report. It’s the only website authorized by the government.

DON’T let bad debt follow you for life, get help now.