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What do I do once I get my first credit card?

There are few things as exciting for you as receiving approval on your first credit card. You will receive this card in the mail after the issuer sends it out to your credit card application listed address. The first thing to do after receiving your first credit card is to activate it. 

You can not use it until you complete the activation process. 

The front of your new card will contain a sticker that lists an Internet address and phone number to activate the card. In order to complete your activation, you will need to provide your social security number and/or your zip code along with your credit card number. Once you have activated the card, it is ready for you to use. 

Do not give in to the temptation to rush immediately out and charge it though. 

Although it may not be fun, you should read the credit card agreement that comes inside the envelope alongside your credit card. This is a detailed and long document complete with all terms and conditions attached to the credit card. 

Important details that you will want to take note of include your new account’s features, the charges that will apply to your card, penalties you will be assessed for being late with payments, and the proper way to address any disputes between you and the card issuer. 

This may seem like a tedious document that is not necessary to go through. 

Reading over your agreement will enable you to better understand all of the responsibilities (it is likely you already know the benefits) that come with having this credit card. 

You will want to understand your new card’s assigned credit limit. This is the maximum dollar amount up to which you can charge your card. Your card will be declined if you exceed this amount unless you opt for over the limit charges. 

Realize that charging your card up to the credit limit is not a responsible use of this new credit account. Doing so will hurt your credit score significantly.