A lot of people who have credit cards make quite a few big mistakes that could have easily been avoided with a little bit of knowledge. The fact is that having a credit card can be a great thing, but you need to know what not to do when you have one. If you want to avoid going into credit card debt like so many others, it is imperative that you are fully aware of these mistakes so you don’t make them as well.
Maxing out your credit cards
While it’s true that there are some situations where maxing out your credit cards is necessary and even beneficial, most of the time it’s a huge mistake that should be avoided. By doing this you run the risk of going over your credit limit with interest, but it can also have a very negative impact on your credit utilization ratio. Those who have a lower credit utilization ratio percentage will have less money owed and more credit available overall.
Paying only the minimum required amount
It can certainly be tempting to just pay the minimum required amount on your credit cards, but it’s something that could eventually get you into trouble. You should definitely make an effort to pay as much as possible on your cards each month so that you don’t risk going into debt. Even paying £20 more each month could help you to pay down your balance quite a bit faster. This is something that almost everyone is capable of doing, but that few people actually do.
Closing old credit cards
Sometimes people get overwhelmed because of the number of credit cards they have, which leads them to cancelling older cards. While this may sound like a good way of managing your cards, the truth is that closing old credit cards can actually have a very negative impact on your credit score. Around 15% of your total FICO credit score is based on your credit history. When you cancel any credit cards that were opened 5 to 15 years ago, you could be erasing that history from your report, which is not a good thing at all.
Applying for multiple credit cards
It’s never a good idea to apply for multiple credit cards at one time, because it will most likely have a negative impact on your credit score. Applying for just one new line of credit can actually help your credit score, but this is not the case when you apply for numerous credit cards in a short period of time. The inquiries into your credit that come with applying for a credit card can show up as negative marks on your credit. You will need to keep this in mind when you are thinking about applying for more than one card at a time.
Not knowing when the introductory period ends
You should make a point of knowing exactly when the introductory period for your credit card ends so that you will know what is coming. Credit cards with an introductory period of 0% APR eventually come to an end, and you will have to know when. These cards can be very helpful when it comes to transferring a balance and providing you with some much needed financial assistance, but it will eventually end. Make sure that you know exactly when the introductory period for your card ends so that you don’t end up paying more money in interest or fees that you originally expected.
The fact is that too many people make very serious mistakes with their credit cards, and it’s something that you will need to make a conscious effort of avoiding yourself. If you don’t want to end up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in debt, you will have to keep these all-too-common mistakes in mind going forward. A credit card should never be viewed as free money, because you will eventually have to pay your bill with interest. Because there are so many different things to consider, it is crucial that you read through this article and use the information in it to your advantage. You will certainly be glad you took these things into consideration.