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Managing Your Credit Card

Credit cards seem like small pieces of plastic that allow you to purchase whatever you want and pay all the money back at a later date. In reality they have both pros and cons depending on how you manage your money. If you have a problem with spending more than you have credit cards can be dangerous, but used the right way they can allow you to build up good credit so that you can make larger purchases and borrow money in the future. Here are some tips for how to responsibly use a credit card.

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1. Do not have too many credit cards

Credit cards can be highly beneficial. They can offer you plenty of rewards and deals. However, having too many credit cards puts you at risk of going over your limits, forgetting about accounts, and even lowering your credit score. For beginning credit card users, it may be best to open one credit card. However, with each card you open have a distinct purpose.

2. Micromanage your accounts

If you have more than one account, make sure you are keeping track of all of your accounts even if you are not active on some. It is very important to make sure you are paying all of your bills on time and in full. Check your account balances online at least once a week.

3. Keep your balances low

You used to be able to max out credit cards with little to no repercussions, however if you do that now you will be stuck with a low credit score. If you want to be able to keep a high credit score don't use more than 30% of available credit on individual accounts and in total. It will help you maintain your bills and will look better on your statement even if you always pay your bills in full. Make sure you are using credit cards for their intended purpose which is convenience, not spending money you do not currently have.

4. Keep your accounts open and active

Keeping accounts open and active may seem counterproductive however shutting down accounts is not favorable to see on a credit report. Keeping the account open and active shows that you know how to manage your accounts and be accountable in paying bills.

Credit cards are a large responsibility that can either help or hinder your future endeavors. By making smart choices you are taking a step towards your future financial stability.

Source: Business Insider | Your Money

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