Finances & Debt

4 Ways to Keep Credit Card Use in Check

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Having a record of credit card use and building a credit history is an important part of financial health in today’s world. Having no credit history can make life almost as difficult as having a low credit score.

On the other hand, credit cards can be too easy to use on impulse purchases. And a few mistakes – like skipping a payment or two, or ringing up debt that can’t be paid back – can have a significant impact on a credit score. A low credit score ripples into other parts of life, potentially making it harder to get jobs, rent apartments and of course, take out other loans.

It pays to understand how credit cards work – and how quickly they can get out of hand. Consider the following tips for keeping your credit card use in line.

  1. Learn the responsibilities that come with owning a credit card, including the importance of a higher credit score versus a lower one .
  2. Start by having one card only and use just for emergencies or for purchases that can be paid off at the end of the month.
  3. Learn how quickly credit card interest can pile up. By not paying on time and in full, the original cost of what was bought is often no longer in line with the value of the product.
  4. Carefully review the terms of credit card offers and contracts.