Use Credit Wisely

10 tips to make credit work for you.
Get a credit product that suits you. Your card can give you rebates and rewards that are useful and practical, based on your lifestyle. For example, if you like to travel, get a card that gives you miles for your purchases.
Understand the terms of agreement before you accept a loan or credit card. Make sure you understand not just what you will enjoy, but also what is expected of you. Familiarize yourself with the Cardmember Agreement, which contains conditions relating to your credit card account: effective interest rate, annual percentage rate, the monthly minimum payment formula, annual fee, if applicable, and your rights in billing disputes. If you’d like to read up on your Citi Card agreement.
Save money each payday for emergencies. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to set aside at least 15% of your take home pay each month and 6 mos. of your monthly salary for emergencies.
Set a monthly limit for charges and stick to it. Be disciplined about how much you want to charge each month on your credit card. Once you hit the limit that you set, don't use your credit card again until the following month.
Shop as carefully with credit as you do with cash. Your credit card is not an extension of your wallet. It’s easy to forget that you have to repay your credit card charges when you go on a shopping spree.
Don't take on monthly credit obligations unless you're certain you can meet them. Avoid going down the road where your monthly repayments put unwanted strain on your income stream.
Pay bills promptly and in full. If you don't pay in full, interest charges will start to apply. Interest charges have a tendency to keep growing.
Give your finances regular "check-ups". Review your expenses periodically to see how you can spend and save more wisely. Examine where you are overspending and find ways to cut back in those areas.
Keep credit card information, including the service hotline, in a safe place in case your cards are lost or stolen. Remember that you are accountable for purchases made before you report your credit card missing.
Review your loan or card statement each month. This ensures that you see what you spend on and adjust your spending pattern if needed. Login to Citibank Online at www.citibank.com.ph to conveniently view your transactions and personal statements online. You may also enroll in Citi Alerts to get free SMS and email updates on your account balance and transactions.