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Credit cards equal responsibility, because they can either bring you exemplary joy and security, or they may bring you disastrous situations.

The following are some tips to successfully using your credit cards.

Do not feel that you need to own a lot of credit cards. Usually a card or two will do for the average citizen with a job. This will keep you in line when making purchases, thereby helping you avoid getting into too much debt. Having a limited number of cards also means that the finances and balances will be easier to handle. Remember, every purchasing activity and transaction, good or bad, that you make using your credit cards will be reflected on your report.

Get a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus. That means three reports youЎЇll be reviewing and comparing. Every credit card holder is entitled to one free copy from all three bureaus, so you have no excuse for not getting one. This will keep you informed such as if youЎЇve spent beyond your credit limit, or which credit card accounts to close (the rule of thumb is to avoid closing accounts which make up a huge part of your credit report).

The responsible consumer would also keep track of his or her spending and stay within the credit limit as given by the creditor. The best thing to do is to not purchase beyond 30% of your credit limit. Since you only get one free copy from the three credit bureaus and you do might not want to purchase another company within the year, you will have to monitor your own spending. You can do this by keeping receipts, transaction bills, and checking online.

Negotiating lower interest rates with your credit cards will work to your advantage. This is perfectly legal and common in the creditor-consumer relationship. Of course, creditors will be more lenient if you have a good history of paying your fees on time and maintaining your balance. Also, decline any other credit offers that might be given to you, to avoid temptation in purchasing beyond your real means.

Do tell your creditor if you cannot pay your monthly fee. You may be able to make arrangements and negotiations that will satisfy you both. Again, there is a huge possibility of the creditor being more sympathetic to you if your credit history is good. Therefore, it is of utter importance that you pay your bills and fees on time.