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Credit Card Best Practices

Credit card beside a laptop ready for use online.

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸCredit Card Best Practices๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

To maximize the benefits of credit cards:

Know:

  • Credit card payment history (35%) and credit utilization (30%) impact your credit score the most. Keep balances low and payments on time.
  • Open credit cards with low balances and on-time payments to improve your score the most each month.
  • Pay off smaller balances first to reduce overall utilization if carrying higher ratios.

Do:

  • Have at least two cards to increase your score significantly.
  • Keep balances below 30% of credit limits.
  • Set up autopay to ensure on-time payments and report balances.
  • Pay more than minimums to increase the chances of limit increases.

blue credit card being held by a blue hand

Don’t:

  • Exceeding 30% of credit limits hurts your score and appears risky.
  • Use one card to pay off another if it increases the second card’s balance above 30%.
  • Close credit cards and this stops payment history and lowers longstanding accounts, dropping your score.
  • Keep balances at $0. Use a small amount ($5-$30) and pay it off on the due date to avoid interest while keeping cards active.

Tips:

  • Keep balances under 10% of limits for maximum score gains.
  • Set up small monthly subscriptions to keep balances low.
  • Apply for a secured card if unable to open an unsecured card.
  • Lower balances when applying for loans leads to higher scores.

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