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How to Choose and Use a Credit Card

Choosing a Credit Card

You have probably gotten your share of pre-approved credit card offers in the mail. Before you accept that latest offer; make sure you shop around to get the best deal. In order to find the best card for you, you should decide whatís important to you and what fits your needs depending on how you plan to use the card.

Problems with Credit Card Bills

When you get your card in the mail, you also get the Cardmember Agreement. Itís important that you understand the terms outlined in this document, as it is your contract with the company. If you cannot find the agreement, contact your credit card company for a copy. If you have additional questions, you may contact the FDIC at 1-877-275-3342; ask for the Consumer Affairs branch.

You made a payment, but it's not showing up on your credit card statement or your bill is wrong and you need to tell someone. What do you do? File what is called a billing dispute.

Your statement got charged additional finance charges even though you paid your previous balance in full Ė perhaps the terms of your card arenít what you realized. Check out:

Your credit cards are maxed out and your spending habits are out of control. Where can you get help?

Charging Fees

If you do not pay your account on time or you go over your designated credit limit, the bank may charge you a fee. However, information about these fees must be included in your Cardmember Agreement. If you can not find the agreement, contact your credit card company for a copy. If you have additional questions after reading the Agreement, you may contact the FDIC Consumer Affairs branch at 1-877-275-3342.

Account Privileges

The credit card company may take action on your account based on the overall credit history on which the credit score is based. This may include lowering your credit limit, closing your account or suspending your charging privileges based on your credit score even if you have paid your account with them as agreed. If you have questions regarding what is happening with your account, contact your financial institution. For more information, visit:

Finding Bank Information

If you're not sure which federal agency regulates your bank, call your bank or visit:

Filing Complaints

If you want to file a complaint with your regulator:





Last Updated 12/28/2010 Customer Assistance Online Form