Without a doubt, the number one contributor to poor credit scores in the United States has to do with credit cards. Most people don’t know credit card best practices, and that leads to big problems with spending, repayment, and suffocating credit card debt. Most Americans can relate to this either today or at some point in their life.
But credit cards can also be a huge help for your credit if they’re used properly. Used as a tool for purchasing and simplified payment, a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diner’s Club, or Discover card can give confidence in everyday tasks and shopping. It requires knowing and following some very important credit card best practices.
Credit Card Best Practices
Pay Off the Balance Every Month
Interest adds up quickly on credit cards. Some types of credit cards have an annual interest rate of up to 30 percent. If you are making just minimum payments on your credit card every month, it can take years to pay off a small balance. Instead, pay off the balance every month to avoid paying unnecessary interest charges.
Buy Only What You Can Repay That Month
Don’t use your credit card as a loan. It’s one way you can get into serious credit trouble. When you’re making purchases, only buy things you know you can (and will) be able to repay by the time the bill is due.
Pay Credit Card Bills On Time
One of the credit card best practices is to make sure you make your payments on time. If you don’t, interest charges accrue unnecessarily and your credit rating will take a hit. Set yourself a calendar reminder to pay your credit card bill before the due date.
Choose Your Card Wisely
Some credit cards have high annual rates while others are no-fee cards. One card will have a high-interest rate while another will be significantly lower. One card may pay dividends or rewards while others give you nothing in return. Seek out the best card you can qualify for so you can benefit by using it.