With Christmas coming very soon, and with it feeling like winter, perhaps it’s a good a time to review some tips on managing and even improving your credit. Everyone knows that this is one of the most expensive times of the year. Between gift buying, hosting parties, attending parties (have to bring that wine!), and eating out, bills and credit card debt can add up pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
By following some fundamental guidelines, you can ensure that your credit score doesn’t take a hit once the New Year comes and goes.
First of all, never exceed your credit limit. This sounds obvious, but if you’re dangerously close to being maxed out on a particular credit card, the interest due could push you over the limit. Try to make more than the minimum payments to ensure this doesn’t happen.
If you have two credit cards, instead of having one at max capacity and the other at $0, use both but keep them around 50% of their limit. The percentage of available credit you have each month affects your credit score, so keep this in mind when over-using one card.
These days, it seems like every department store out there has some sort of credit card they want you to sign up for. DON’T!!! These cards are viewed negatively by the credit bureau and signing up for one could hurt your credit score. In addition, they have absurdly high interest rates (some as high as 29%), so that reason alone should make you avoid them.
Last but not least, pay your bills on time! It sounds harsh, but making a credit card payment one day late will hurt your score. To be certain, try to make the payment at least three business days ahead of when it’s due. This allows time for the transaction to be processed, and it’s also just a good habit to get into. You could even check into automated transactions to ensure you don’t forget to send the minimum payment.
Follow these guidelines and your New Year is sure to be happy!
Jamie Vieira, Sales Representative
Century 21 Miller, Brokerage
PH: 905-845-9180 FAX 905-845-7674
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