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Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score

It might seem counterintuitive to some, but having a few credit cards in your wallet to be used in a smart manner is an excellent way to improve your credit score. As you know, having a high credit score is one of the keys to a financially successful life, if your score is mediocre to low then you will have a harder time acquiring loans, and the payments that you will make will pretty much always cost you more in the long run.

Millions upon millions of people get trapped by credit card debt every year, simply because they do not use the cards in a fiscally responsible way, and this not only causes a large debt, but it also can have quite a few personal implications as well.

The first way a credit card can help is that it shows a credit history. Always try not to cancel any credit cards because you have decided not to use them anymore, a long credit history, even for a card that has little use is far better than one that is only a few months or a year along because you decided to close all your old cards from five years ago. Anything that is new will show up with an inquiry on your credit report, which will bring your score down a bit for at least a few months and maybe up to a year, so try to hang on to as many older cards as you can.
If you do have some of these old credit cards, focus on using them every few months to buy something, for example fill up your tank with petrol using one of these cards every 2-3 months. This way the card appears to be active on your credit history, but it will not cause you any sort of undue burden to pay off when the bill comes due.

Another way you can use a credit card to your advantage is to ask for higher limits. Especially on those cards that are older. Higher unused limits will always help increase your score, especially if you keep your credit card debt at or below about 35% of the limit amount. It also shows that the credit card company has found you to be a trustworthy customer who is capable of paying bills and not racking up large amounts of debt.

The most important thing, however, is to always pay your bill on time. The very best option is to pay your bill in full and on time, but at the very least always aim to pay above the minimum balance and before it’s due. Nothing will be able to improve your credit score if you have consistently late payments each month; that will actually hurt your chances of getting any sorts of loans or other credit cards in the future.

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June 25, 2012 um 7:27 am
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