Having a credit card can be a great asset, especially for professionals who need a convenient way of paying for products and services without reaching out for their pocket. However, having a credit card can also be a double-edged sword. When it is misused, this can cost you a luxury. If you’re not consistent with your payments, debt, and how much you’ll owe, your bank might start piling up.
Not only does misusing a credit card lead to a build-up of payments, but this can also severely tarnish your credit score, which might close some doors on opportunities in getting that dream car or that home that you’ve always wanted in the near future.
The good news here is that you shouldn’t be flustered if you’re getting into the habit of using your credit card correctly. Here are some important practices that you can do to help get you in the groove towards financial stability.
Carrying a Balance Every Single Month
Contrary to what most people believe in, carrying a balance with you every month won’t improve your credit score. In fact, around 22% of Americans are currently carrying a balance with them while under the impression that it might increase their credit score.
In reality, this can inadvertently tarnish much of your credit score and will cost you more money in the long run. If you’re carrying a balance every single month but you’re still looking for ways of getting some things that you’ll need in life, there are still a lot of ways of getting it. Fortunately, you won’t need to carry the hassle of balancing your utilization and credit score so that you can afford some essentials in life. If you’re looking for a good car without having to go through a rigorous credit check, some no-credit-check car dealerships can sell you high-quality vehicles without the extra hassle.
Making Minimum Payments and Missing Payments
Next, one of the most common mistakes that many credit card owners make is that they only make minimum payments to show their banks that they are making payments. Most experts would say that it’s not advised that they only make minimum payments.
Not only will paying just the minimum amount to rack up an unnecessary amount of debt, but this can also add more time needed to pay for it when it could have been paid months or years prior. That said, having a comprehensive payment plan will help expedite the process of paying your debt. Although you might have to spend more early on, this is a path to financial stability in the long run.
Taking Out Cash Advances
Let’s face it: there’s going to be times when we will need money for essentials every month. Taking our cash advances is a known way of getting some money from credit cards. However, this is also one of the most riskier approaches since this is when interest rates will start increasing what you owe. The amount of cash that you will be withdrawing immediately can drastically increase. There are no grace periods to getting cash advances, as compared to making regular payments. In most cases, you’ll incur a fee, which is usually around 5% of your total cash advance.
If you need to have funds as of the present moment, you might want to consider directly withdrawing from your bank account that’s enough for the entire month, instead of having to rely on your credit card for necessary purchases or cash advances mainly.
Maxing Out Your Credit Card
Lastly, one of the most important things that credit card owners should never do is maxing out their credit card’s capacity. Although this might seem like it’s common knowledge, there are still many individuals who don’t have the necessary self-control to stop themselves from making impulsive purchases using their card. If an opportunity to purchase a certain product presented itself, most experts would suggest using real money instead.
Frequently using your credit card can make your utilization rate spike, which can then lower your credit score. The more credit score that you have, the less likely that you’ll be able to have loans approved. In most cases, the amount of credit used will influence your utilization rate. Still, it’s important to be mindful of your credit score, and the lower your rate, the better it will be for you.
If you are close to charging towards your credit limit every single month but still have the means of paying off many of your bills every month, then you can always call your credit card issuing company for an increase to your limit.
Contrary to what most people think, having a credit card isn’t a free pass on getting luxurious items in life. By being mindful of these mistakes that many credit card owners make, you can mitigate any financial blunders you might have in the near future.
Still, it’s important to remember that there’s no one way of managing your finances and your debt. Each person is earning their own wage and is living their own unique lifestyle. Whatever might work for you in managing your finances and your credit card debt might not necessarily work for others. As long as you are aware of your debt and you’re quite sure that you’ll get what you want, then your credit card is your best friend in this situation.