Credit cards can be good for your credit score or they can be bad for it, it all depends on how you’re using them. If you max your cards and then never pay them they are going to cause you all sorts of credit and debt issues. If you’re only making minimum payments on them you could be paying more than you intended for your shopping trips.
When it comes to being smarter with your credit cards it really revolves around paying for your purchase. You want to also watch where you spend and what you spend on. Try to find cards with good APR and interest rates, and you’ll at least be saving some money.
Does It Have Rewards?
Pick a credit card that offers you something in return for using it, especially if you intend to use it on a regular basis. Some give you money back on any kind of spending, while others will give you a percentage back on only a certain type of spending (like for gas or grocery purchases).
If you travel a lot you may want to look into a card that racks up frequent flyer miles. Some cards may offer you certain discounts at the store they are for. You definitely don’t want to discredit store cards if they’re for a place you shop often.
Do You Have The Money To Pay It Off?
It’s always wise to consider your ability to pay for a credit card before you get one. While you never have to use it just because you have it, you still should think about your income. Credit card spending can add up and you don’t want to go into debt with them.
Is This An Emergency?
Sometimes you’ll want to have at least one card that is just on hand for emergencies, large or small. Maybe your paycheck is coming late this month because of a holiday,s o you want to make sure that you have food in the fridge until then. Or, maybe you have it on hand for major issues, like when the car breaks down.
Will It Affect Your Credit?
You should also consider how having and using a credit card can affect your credit score. Too many cards can definitely make your credit look less than stellar and really lower your score. If you owe too much on your cards and have too little available credit, that can look bad as well.
Don’t get credit cards if you just want to spend and have no intention of paying. It’s not a good thing to do and it could keep you from future home and vehicle purchases, and even make you a risk for a new job.