The use of credit cards is one of the fastest legitimate ways to build credit. However, this is easier said than done, especially if you are starting from scratch or in the process of rebuilding your credit score. Credit cards are easy to misuse when you do have them, which is why you should take care if you have them. This usually happens when you are not aware of how best to manage your credit card. Fortunately, the efficient management of credit cards is not that difficult. If you follow these simple steps, you will be taking bold steps into better credit scoring and increased financial capacity:
Only Get Enough Credit Cards
Credit cards usually give you special in-store financing offers alongside tempting rewards. If you are not careful, you will find yourself signing up for a bunch of credit cards to enjoy the benefits. There is no set limit on the number of credit cards you are allowed to have. However, with too many credit cards, it is easy to find yourself spending more than you can afford. Also, you may end up forgetting to pay for the newer credit cards because you may be overwhelmed. Every credit card you own is usually listed as an inquiry on your account by the credit bureau. This has the potential to drop your credit score significantly because you are required to sustain multiple entries.
Make Timely Payments
Credit card payment usually has a significant impact on your credit score. Therefore, if you are looking to use your credit cards to build credit, you should consider making prompt payments. A single missed payment can have a serious negative impact on your credit score. Unfortunately, this stain stays on your record for as long as seven years, which severely affects your reputation. Fortunately, making timely payments is not rocket science. A simple workaround to this is setting up an auto-pay on your credit card covering the bare minimum for your card.
Have an Emergency Fund
Life is usually quite unpredictable and full of surprises, most of which will have you spending money you don’t have or that you had not planned to spend. This creates an undue burden on your credit card as such expenses had not been planned for. Most people usually use their cards to settle such bills with the confidence that they will pay in due course. The problem is that this rarely works out well, leading to missed payments and lowered credit scores. To sustain this, you can consider establishing a separate emergency fund. Such an arrangement enables you to cover such surprises or use your fund to settle credit payments. This way, you do not jeopardize your credit score.
Credit cards are useful for different purposes in our day to day life. Having a reliable credit card enables you to perform the tasks you had wished to perform and settle the bills on time. However, it is essential to maintain a positive credit score to ensure you keep enjoying the benefits presented by having and using credit cards. That being said, you should always seek to optimize ways of using your credit cards to build credit so that you are never locked out.