If you have a credit card, or are thinking about applying for one, you'll want to make sure you make smart choices when it comes to using them. Credit Cards can either help build an amazing credit score, or turn into the worst financial nightmare of all time, all depending on what you do with them. To make sure you don't find yourself in the house of financial horrors with your credit cards, here's a quick guide on how you can use them.
The best credit card practices you should follow:
- Pay off your balance each month: If you pay off your credit card in full each month, you will never have to worry about getting trapped in debt. Cards charge a pretty high interest rate ranging anywhere upwards of 20%, so if you have to pay it, you can easily end up in financial trouble very quickly.
- Pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%: That's right. 30%. This will help ensure that your cards help you build credit rather than hurting your credit score. A part of your credit score comprises of your credit utilization percentage, so keeping a low one ensures that you're not maxing out on debt every month. Paying bills on time is essential because your payment history is the most important factor when your score is determined.
- Choose a credit card that is well matched to your spending habits: Many credit cards offer bonus rewards for certain kinds of purchases such as shopping at grocery stores, filling up on gas, and so on. If you're someone who is used to a certain lifestyle, getting one that complements that lifestyle could work to your benefit.
Now, how should you NOT be using your credit card.
There are some big no-nos when it comes to using your credit cards. One of the worst ways include using credit cards to finance a lifestyle you cannot afford and being irresponsible about how much you charge and how much you pay.
Most people end up getting into debt because of just this. Using your cards to pay for luxuries or things that you would not have bought if you didn't have that ready credit line can get you into some serious trouble.
As your balance grows, your interest costs keep going up and soon enough, you'll be clearing interest expenses rather than the actual bill itself!
What's more, this hurts your credit score. Like, really hurts. You absolutely don't want to make this mistake, nor do you want to use cards and forget to pay them or max out your credit cards.
But what if you already have an outstanding credit balance? Or what if you just keep forgetting to pay your bills? Then Gauss is the app for you. Autopay all your credit card bills from a single app. Easily pay above required minimums to pay off balances faster. Prevent late fees and overdraft fees!