Credit scores have never been more important than they are now. The economy is in turmoil, and it has become difficult to keep our heads above water. We have all heard the dangers of using credit cards and how they can hurt your credit score. However, if used wisely, using credit cards can improve your credit score.
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Your credit score can be the key to unlock the door that can lead to the benefits of life. If it is too low, kiss that new car goodbye. If it is mediocre, you might be able to be approved for a loan, but prepare to pay a hefty sum towards those astronomical interest rates.
Are inactive credit cards hurting my credit score?
While having inactive credit cards do not necessarily hurt your credit score, they are not really helping it either. Sometimes, we use a card and then throw it in the drawer until it is paid. This is a great way to manage your payments and not max out your credit card.
The main benefit of using a credit card is that it shows your usage and payment history. The history is what the credit bureaus use to determine your credit score. If you have a good history, then your score increases.
A problem posed by inactive cards is that we tend to forget that we even have them. By the time we go to use them, they may be expired. That leads to having to re-apply for the card, which consists of an inquiry of your credit in order to be approved again. It is much easier to simply keep the card from expiring by using it regularly in order to keep it active.
The recommended usage of a credit card is to use it at least once every six months to both remind yourself that you have it as well as to keep the history going. If you close credit card accounts that you are not using, you risk taking a hit to your credit score if you have held those accounts for a significant period of time.
How many credit cards should I have or not have?
Credit card companies are always soliciting for more customers. But how many credit cards are too many? If you are just starting to establish your credit, one card is enough. You should focus on managing that one credit card efficiently and establishing a good payment history before acquiring more credit cards.
Once you have successfully managed to handle the responsibility of one credit card, you can judge for yourself how many more credit cards you would be able to handle without getting trouble.
How will my credit get better using credit cards?
It is not how many credit cards you have. It is your credit to debt ratio that is important. The higher your credit limit, the more debt you are allowed. As long as your credit card limit is higher than what your total amount of what you owe is, the balance is kept. This keeps your credit score is good standing.
It never hurts to call the credit card issuer and ask for a higher limit on your credit card. But keep in mind that an increase is not a green light to go impulse shop simply because you can.
Will closing my credit cards help to increase my credit score?
No! This goes back to keeping that balance of what you owe and how much you are allowed to owe on your credit cards. Closing those cards will reduce your credit limits, which effectively increases what you owe. Your credit score will think that you are becoming stretched to your limit, which will cause your score to be lower than what it should be.
Once a card is closed, its payments are no longer on your payment history. That can actually hurt your credit score.
Which credit cards are better, major cards or in-store cards?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you could apply for those credit cards issued by a local department store if you are trying to establish credit. If you do not have any credit, local businesses are more willing to extend credit to you. Once your history shows your timely payments, major credit card companies will be more willing to approve your application to use their credit cards.
You must be aware of your credit score and any activity associated with it. You can check your credit score once a year free at AnnualCreditReport.com.