When it comes to getting a good credit score, your credit cards can either affect you negatively or positively. There are three main things that can damage your credit report; having too many credit cards, going over the limit of credit cards and having long overdue credit card debts. Let’s examine them one after the other to make sure you aren’t hurting your credit score.

Having too many credit cards

Opening more than one credit card account within a short timeframe can negatively affect your credit score. It won’t only bring about a drop in your credit score, but card issuers may think that your financial condition has changed. So you should only apply for what you need.

However, if you think you have too many credit cards, the most awful action you can take is to start shutting down some credit cards without considering the effect it will have on your credit score. You cannot help your score by closing credit cards.

Going over the limit of credit cards

Most credit cards always have a limit, which is the highest amount of credit that is available to you.  Despite the fact that your card issuer has given you a specific limit for your card, it looks awful if you exhaust all the credit. Exhausting your credit card, making use of all credit available to you, makes you look like an irresponsible borrower and your credit rating or score will be hurt badly due to it.

Long overdue credit card debts

Repayment history is one of the main factors that add to your credit report. Every time you delay the payment of your credit card debts, there is a negative effect on your credit report. Always remember that the amount owned by a person is the second most important factor in the FICO/credit report. It accounts for 30% of the report.

Both credit defaults and late payments negatively affect your credit score, but credit defaults are likely worse since details of the long overdue debt are not usually removed erased from the credit history even after making payment for them. This can definitely bring down your credit score for the time being and keeps on having some impact as long as it stays on your credit report.

Want to learn more about the consequences of making a late credit card payment? Click here to learn more.

Ways to prevent your credit card from hurting your credit score

Given below are tips to know how to use a credit card without getting into difficult debts. These will help you avoid hurting your credit score.  

  1. Pay off the ones with the smallest balances

If paying down debts with high interest isn’t comfortable for you to start with, try paying off the ones with the smallest balances. Begin with the credit card that has the smallest balance and makes additional payments towards it each month. Keep on paying the minimum on all other credit cards. Immediately you settle the smallest balance, proceed onward to the credit card with the next larger balance and do the same process.  

This technique makes you feel great paying off all your debt quickly, no matter how small the balance might balance.

  1. Don’t go over 75%-90% of the credit card’s limit

The more your credit cards, the more you are able to charge. You might have good self-control, yet it is better not to entice yourself by going over 75%-90% of your credit card’s limit. Reduce the number of credit cards you have in order to maintain a strategic distance from credit debt and therefore improve your credit score.

  1. Treat your credit card as a debit card and pay in full your bill every month

If you want to stay away from credit card debt issues, you need to treat your credit card as a debit card and pay off your bill each month. With that, you will not have to carry a balance over and totally wipe out the danger of getting soaked into debt. You never need to stress over whether you will be able to meet the least payment since your credit card debt has already been fully settled.

  1. Use your card for big transactions and not small ones you can easily forget

Taking the time to confirm each transaction will ensure that you are not on the snare for fraudulent activity. If you want to easily remember all the transactions you did, then you should use your card for big transactions rather than the small ones that you will easily forget.

  1. Always check your credit card statement, keep receipts, mistakes to look for on card statements

If anything in your financial record looks a bit sketchy, check your credit card statement. Look for vital information and consult your card issuer to discuss any mistakes like a wrong charge or fee. 15% of the credit card account statement have mistakes, so this is critical. Do not make payment for a mistake you did not make. Even if there is no mistake in your credit card statement, you need to still review your account statement.

Conclusion

Using credit cards imprudently can hurt your credit score, but that does not mean credit cards are a bad tool. In fact, appropriate use of credit cards might boost your credit score/records without you taking on extra debt.

While specialists recommend that you keep your credit card usage below 30%, it is essential to keep in mind that creditors are also interested in the total amount of your remaining credit. This implies that if your credit limit is low, it’s not really an issue if your credit card usage rate is somewhat higher than recommended.

Interested in learning more about how your credit score could affect your everyday life? Wondering if your credit score could affect your employability? Click here to learn more.

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