Reputation is very important — whether in your personal life, at work, or where your finances are concerned.
Your credit score is your “financial reputation”. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get low-interest rates, loan packages, and higher credit card limits.
More importantly, a lot of employers now look at an applicant’s credit score for evaluation. In fact, the importance of the credit score has crept into dating; why date someone with very poor credit score and get yourself into potential financial trouble?
With that in mind, it’s definitely very important to manage your credit in a practical and responsible way. You will need to use credit cards and use them wisely to help improve your credit score.
5 Ways To Manage Your Credit
Never Spend More Then You Can Immediately Afford
This means you need to have a budget in place. Deduct all your monthly bills, investments, and savings first. Whatever is left is your spending budget for the month. When you shop with your credit card never charge more than your spending budget allows.
Be Wary Of All Charges
A lot of credit card users don’t bother to read the fine print on the credit card agreements. Same goes for those who take on loans. It’s always important to read all of the details so that you understand what the interest rate is for regular purchases as well as cash advances. You also want to determine if there is an annual fee, and if so how much.
Don’t Just Pay The Minimum Amount Due
When your credit card statement comes in it will show your outstanding balance, your credit limit, and your minimum monthly payment. If all you ever do is pay the minimum amount owing, you run the risk of never paying off your debt.
Instead of your outstanding balance decreasing, it will actually increase due to interest charges. As mentioned earlier, only charge what you can afford within your budget.
Never Be Late With Payments
A late payment, even just by a few days, will negatively impact your credit score. Always keep track of your due dates and pay your bills on or before they’re due.
Know Your Credit Score
Get a credit report regularly at least once a year. This way, you’ll be able to see if you are managing your credit well, or if you need to improve in certain areas of your financial life.