Bad credit cards habits can cause serious financial damage that can last for years. Good habits need to be taught. Amanda Steinberg, author of WORTH IT, shares her 5 tips that will start you on the right track to maintain good credit ratings and strong personal finances.
- Pay on time. Thirty-five percent of your credit score comes from on-time payment. With automatic minimum payments, it’s a relatively easy win.
- Never charge more than you can pay off in four months. The ideal is to pay off your entire balance every month, but for many people, that’s not realistic.
- That said, pay at least double your minimum payment every month. By exceeding your minimum payments, you will exponentially decrease the cost of interest.
- Be conservative. It’s ideal to have two personal cards. Do not have more than five or you may be flagged as potentially untrustworthy by lenders—someone who might be in trouble and unable to pay back their
loans. Not to mention that it will be almost impossible to track your spending if you have that many cards open.
- Keep an eye on your long-term dreams and prioritize from there. Do you want to qualify for a mortgage? Go on a vacation you can afford? Remember, credit card companies want your money. And you aren’t in the game to increase AMEX’s profit margin. You’re here to live the life you want. So focus on that. Don’t be fabulous at the expense of real integrity.
Here are tips for smart spending.