If you are in debt or just want to avoid it, you might be interested to know some of the good credit practices that many people employ to keep their credit scores high and keep their financial situation sound. Here are some basic tips that anyone can use to attain and retain a high credit score.
Use Credit Cards Wisely
One of the best tips for those with credit cards is to use them wisely. Credit cards are very convenient, but they are extremely costly to use. On average, the cost of an item can end up costing three times as much when you factor in high interest fees. So that $20 gas purchase now costs $60- it’s insane, but true. If you are an impulse shopper one tip is to switch immediately to debit cards, at least with debit cards there are no interest costs.
Avoid High Interest Credit Cards and Loans
Just as you shop around for food, clothing, TV’s etc, you should also shop around for the best credit card rates.
Watch out for teaser rates in which a credit card company offers you a very low rate for six months then reverts back to a higher, standard rate. Another tip is to use the internet to search for low interest rate credit cards.
Over the lifetime of owning a credit card, you can easily save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on interest fees alone.
Pay More than the Minimum Monthly Payment
Many people that receive credit card bills in the mail only pay the minimum payment- why? Because this is what credit cards ask for on the bill. However, by only paying the minimum monthly payment, you are in fact doing yourself a very big disservice.
You are usually only paying the interest and practically never touching the principal. This means that it can take you 15 years or more to pay off your credit card balance. By paying more than the minimum monthly payment, you can tackle your debt ultimately lowering your balance and interest costs over time.
Don’t Apply for Every Credit Card Offer
Most families get dozens of credit card offers each year. And while many look interesting, if you have one or two credit cards already, you usually don’t need any extra. Having more credit cards usually means one thing- more debt. The easiest way to avoid credit card debt is to avoid more credit cards.