- Getting too many credit cards:
While having a good debt-available credit ratio will build your credit and look favorable to lenders, if you have too much available credit, a lender may think: “What if they decide to max out all of these cards, what would the debt-income ratio be?” Not to mention that multiple credit inquiries will lower your credit score and may lead a lender to believe you are desperate for more money.
Not only will you face a late payment charge that may be higher than your minimum payment, this will show up on your credit report and lower your credit score.
- Ignoring your monthly statement:
Avoid late payments by checking your monthly credit card statements. Checking your monthly credit card statements will also allow you to make sure charges are correct, and catch identity theft, if you wait too long it may show up on your credit report.
- Exceeding your credit limit:
If you are approaching the top of your credit limit, try to use cash for subsequent purchases. If you don’t, your purchase may be rejected, unless you have authorized your card company to charge hefty over-the-limit fees.
- Misunderstanding introductory rates:
With introductory rates, often offered on big-ticket items, interest accumulates from the day of purchase. If you don’t pay off the debt during the introductory period, the interest will be charged retroactively, more than likely at a very high rate.
These are common mistakes made with credit cards that can damage your credit and hinder your ability to qualify for lending opportunities. The more you can learn about the terms of the credit cards you utilize, and credit card use in general, the better you will be able to manage your debt and position yourself for a strong credit score and financial life!
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