One of the hottest topics we get questions on every single day is on the subject of credit cards.
Should you cut up all your credit cards and run as far away from them as possible? Should you have one credit card or 29 credit cards? Is it okay to have a credit card and never charge anything on it?
Today’s quick video from My Credit Guy focuses on how a credit card can help or hurt your credit score.
The truth of the matter is that there are certainly ways for you to be strategic in using your credit cards to maximize your credit score. Your credit utilization and how you actively approach your positive revolving credit lines everyday is a determining factor in your credit profile. In other words, it’s not just enough to have credit cards: you also need to use them responsibly.
This video will help you understand some of the sound strategies you can implement in how you approach your own credit card activity. As a result of this, your credit score will start to see a positive change over time. When you get to the point that your credit needs to be pulled for a loan you are attempting to qualify for, these sound credit card fundamentals will be a part of why you get a big fat stamp of approval instead of the infamous stamp of denial.
In general, you want to have lines of credit to your name. Credit cards are some of the easiest ways to do this. However, you want to ensure that you can use your credit cards responsibly before you sign up for any — getting into credit card debt is a sure-fire way to sink your credit score, so follow this advice as you determine the right credit card usage for you.
Your high limit is the limit on your credit card. If your credit card has a limit of $3,000, this means you cannot exceed this amount. Just because you might have a limit of $5,000 does not mean that you should charge this much money on a credit card. In fact, you should try to stay under 50 percent of your high limit. So, if your credit card limit is $5,000, you want to maintain a balance of under $2,500 at least.
Maintaining a balance under 50 percent of your high limit is considered a “good” practice.
However, it helps you even more if you can maintain a balance under 30 percent of your high limit. This is a “better” behavior.
If you can pay down even more of your credit card balance, then you should strive to maintain a balance of between 5 percent and 10 percent of your high limit. So, for a card with that $5,000 limit, you want to maintain a balance of between $250 and $500. This is best practice, and you will see the maximum benefit from your credit card.
Finally, you don’t want to have a credit card and never use it. It’s a strange rule of the credit card world, but it’s actually more beneficial to charge a tank of gas on a credit card (and pay it off, of course) than to leave it sitting without any balance.
Are there concerns about your credit score as it currently stands? Perhaps there are items on your credit report that clearly shouldn’t be there and are invalid? Maybe you’re just on the road to recovery from years of credit card debt. Consulting with a credit repair agency can help you not only to know how to improve your credit score, but also to do it in a shorter period of time.
If you’d like to receive a non-obligatory, free review from one of our My Credit Guy expert team members, simply contact us and we’ll let you know exactly what we see and provide some strategic options moving forward.