How to Use a Credit Card Effectively

Understanding How to Use a Credit Card Responsibly Can Increase Your Credit Score!

The Ideal: Pay Your Credit Card Balance Each Month in Full and On Time

RV Loan Calculator

Quickly Find Out Your Payments With Our RV Loan Calculator

At its core a credit card is simply a means of borrowing money.[1]  It’s also important to understand that a credit card is an exceptionally lousy means of borrowing money if you carry a balance.

Thus any credit card strategy in that doesn’t also involve paying off your balance in full and on time each month is, at best, of limited value and, at worst, downright stupid.  In short, how to use a credit card effectively entails you pay off your credit card balance each month then you can reap significant benefits from making purchases with a credit card.  However, if you consistently carry a balance from month to month then your credit card issuer is the one reaping the benefits (at your expense!).

For example, let’s say that you need to buy a plane ticket that costs $1,000.  You have both a credit card and $1,000 in the bank that you could use to make the purchase.  Should you pay in cash or use your credit card?[2]  If you use the cash then you can purchase the ticket outright without incurring any credit card debt.  Of course that’s good, but if you purchase the same $1,000 ticket with a credit card then you could automatically receive accidental death and dismemberment (“AD&D”) insurance for the flight as well as 1,000 bonus points or flight miles.[3]  Further, when your credit card statement comes the next month you can use the $1,000 you have in the bank to pay it off in full.  So either way you’ll end up with no credit card debt, but if you pay in cash you’ll get no special benefits whereas if you pay with a credit card you’ll get valuable insurance for the flight with credit card bonus points to boot.

Budget Calculator

Try Our Free Budget Calculator

Second Prize: Make Purchases With a Credit Card as Long as You are Able to Steadily Reduce Your Debt

While it would of course be great to have your credit card fully paid off, what if you’re not in a position to do that right now?  Does that mean that you should lock your credit card away and only pay for things in cash until it’s fully paid off?  Not necessarily, because you can still benefit from making purchases with a credit card as long as you’re disciplined enough to continue to make meaningful progress towards paying down your credit card debt.  Understanding how to use a credit card effectively may vary from situation to situation.

Danger: How To Use A Credit Card Negatively By Using Rewards & Points as an Excuse to Pile on Unsustainable Debt

While it’s true that paying by credit card offers some unique advantages that paying with a check, a debit card or cash does not, I want to again emphasize that you should never use the benefits you receive from paying with a credit card as a means to rationalize making purchases you can’t afford.  For example, don’t talk yourself into buying a $1,000 plane ticket you can’t afford just because you’re going to get a few credit card bonus points or flight miles. If you choose to go down that road then it won’t take long before the deadly math behind credit card interest threatens to make financial bondage your destination.[4]  The Fidelity credit card has one of my favorite reward programs.

Summary: Credit Cards are Great Financial Tools if Used Correctly

There’s a myth among some that only those who are irresponsible, addicted to spending, or deeply in debt use credit cards on a regular basis.  While there are some who do indeed fall into one or more of those categories, it’s also true that those who understand the benefits of making purchases with credit cards and pay off their balances each month use credit cards to make practically every purchase they can.


[1]  See the article, “How Do Credit Cards Work”.

[2]  Note that “paying in cash” means paying with cash, a check or a debit card.

[3]  These are just examples of the types of benefits you could receive; individual credit card terms vary.

[4]  At 22% the interest on $1,000 of credit card debt for 1 month is about $18.33 (22% divided by 12 months x $1,000) whereas 1,000 bonus points can typically be redeemed for something valued at about $10 (equal to about 1 cent per bonus point).

Credit Report Repair Secrets

There are lots of secrets involved in repairing your credit report. Some of them are as follows.

Restrict Accessing Your Own Credit Report

Did you know frequently accessing your credit report will be marked in your report for two years? And do you know how creditors view this remark? This is a sure sign of unstable and insecure financial status or the likelihood of it. Check out CreditKarma.com for a free credit report.

Get Your Credit Report cleaned Up

You know that undisputed and accurate negative points continue for 7 years on your report. But the errors don’t have any reasons to be there. If you left them unattended they hurt your credit report for all those 7 years and getting them out will certainly help boost up your credit.  Article: How to Improve Credit Score in 30 days!

Do Credit Report Repair Yourself

If you can get a friend or a relative to co-sign for a new credit, just do it. This gives a double edged advantage. On one hand you have a new credit that takes care of your immediate necessities and on the other it offers a chance to repair your credit report by being steady in your repayments. You can also try out a secured loan. The monthly installments paid by you on this will begin to show up on your credit report apart from giving a low interest loan.

Credit Report Repair Yourself Kits

Credit report repairing is a big business opportunity. Nevertheless, there are so many companies that claim to fix up your credit for a fee. This is no bad a thing except for the claim that they can repair your credit report in a short time. There is no guarantee that it can be fixed if the points are accurate. So, repairing the report is one thing, but controlling the expenses and rebuilding it is something which takes a lot from you. Begin the exercise yourself. But mind you, this is no less a task than test by fire!

View Our Other Article On Credit Report Repair

Is Credit Report Repair Possible?

There are lot of hype about credit report repair and whether credit report repair is possible or not is the lingering question for most. If you the basics of it , you can certainly make it possible.  Here are the ways to repair credit report.

The article covers:

  • How to rebuild your credit report?
  • Steps on how to rebuild your credit
  • Credit report repair secrets

The big question most of the Americans with bad credit are asking is how to rebuild your credit? And what are the credit report repair secrets? One can understand the deliberate urgency of all of them given the economic situation that just passed by. In the following paragraphs let us try to see whether your credit report repair is possible and how.

Credit report repair is not an entirely difficult job provided you know the basics. There are no such things as credit report repair secrets as you are made to believe by the hawks in the field. The various steps on how to rebuild your credit are as follows.

Track Your Expenses

Fundamentally, in most of the cases, credit problems begin when you forget to understand the flow of income and expenses. Having a budget for domestic spending may sound too restrictive for many. At the end of the month, if your expenses are over shooting (even if it is just close to) your income, this is the time you get alert. Having a wise budget and adhering to it is the first step towards rebuilding credit report, if yours is a bad credit report (or else, is a step to avoid falling into bad credit).

Control Your Expenses and Debt

Controlling expenses is easier said than done. What you can possibly do is review the track you kept on all expenses over the month. Holy! This is sure to throw some shocks at you. You see certain expenses you wouldn’t have probably done had you budgeted. Creditors see controlled expenses as evidence of stability.

Use Your Credit as a Step to Rebuild Your Credit

It is obvious that creditors want to see your credit history. The only way you can do this is through monthly paying credit account. Making small purchases regularly and paying them off within the stipulated time will avoid interest being levied to you apart from helping credit report repair silently.

Watch your credit report

Watching your credit report regularly helps you incredibly. If you are turned down a credit by some creditor, you can call a free (or a paid) credit report to locate the exact reason for the decline. If the reason for that bad point is not correct or incomplete you can get it removed from your credit report. Even otherwise, you can work out a plan of action to erase it.

Best Ways To Improve Credit Rating

Top 5 Ways To Improve Credit Rating

Avoid Opening Unwanted New Credit Accounts

Too many accounts are a burden and cumbersome to manage. Nevertheless, they sap out your critical resources. Moreover, they reduce the average life of your credit accounts. Whatever weight age you had with your existing accounts will get dampened by opening new accounts, if you don’t use them.

Don’t close accounts in a hurry

Closing down additional accounts may help you in the short term. But prospective creditors will unnecessarily get alerted as they remain on the credit report. This sure will have a negative impact on your report.

Review your credit report regularly

You can order your free reports from all the three reporting agencies once a year. But the smarter way is to get them at spaces of four months each. This cost free way gets you reviewing the credit report regularly and helps to identify and remove errors from the reports. According to FICO this helps improve your credit rating by about 10%.

Meet a professional

Seeking professional help is advisable. But take care not to fall into trap laid out by scam masters who vanish as fast as they appeared. There are some non profit organizations which help you improve your credit rating.

Get Your Act Together; You are Not Alone

IF you are worried about how you can do all these things, it is not surprising. It is natural for anyone who is at the end of the road of his financial life. First of all, trace back the reasons that lead you to this situation. It can be one of the now more common of the reasons, like job loss, a marriage divorce or a personal accident etc. It is true that each one of these has a potential to set you back financially by years. But don’t panic now. The fundamental truth in your quest to improve credit rating lies in your courage and meticulous planning and finally your perseverance to execute it.

Improving credit ratings is not all about formulating strategies. If you are thinking &I; can improve my credit rating”, think again. Following the steps to improve credit rating involves a huge amount of discipline and hard work. If you succeeded in your endeavor, you can teach others how to improve credit rating.

Tips To Increase Your Credit Rating

Ready To Increase Your Credit Rating?

Maintenance of a good credit report is important to get cash advances if you are confronted with impromptu expenses. This is possible if you train yourself to use your credits in an appropriate manner. Spare time to review your past credits and identify the unwanted expenses .If you bring a discipline into your spending you can certainly maintain a good credit rating. Read more.The article covers.

  • Top Tips to Improve Credit Rating
  • Pay you bills on time and consistently
  • Keep balances as low as you can
  • Manage your credit accounts wisely
  • Best Ways to Improve your Credit Rating

Before we set on to discuss the tips to improve credit rating, let’s accept a few truths. That regularly reviewing of your credit report needs to be given equal importance as medical checkups. You can draw ideas to improve your credit rating from reviewing your credit report. Rest assured all scoring procedures take into account that every person misses a payment or two in his life time.

Unfortunately, many who are under stress because of bad credit rating don’t know how to improve credit rating. Most of them confuse this to erasing the errors in their credit report. You can use the following list of tips to improve your credit rating. Mind you, you will have to diligently follow them, if at all you want to see any results.

Pay you bills on time and consistently

Paying your bills on time and very consistently is the foundation stone on which you can build upon your steps to improve credit rating. The regularity clearly reflects your financial stability and intentions to payback your debts. These payments will steadily show-up on your credit report as paid on time.

Keep balances as low as you can

Suppose you are paying your monthly credit installments. It is wise to pay as much as will be possible so that your unpaid balance, if any, will be low. This will send a strong signal to your creditors of your financial recovery. Secondly, the low unpaid balances can, at best accrue a small interest, which is easily manageable.

Manage your credit accounts wisely

How well you manage your various credit accounts matter a lot. One foremost thing to keep in mind is that, you will want to begin paying off from the highest debt account and move down the order. Please pay attention to include that debt account which has the highest interest also. Apart from quickly reducing the debt in key accounts it shows finance management abilities. This is a strong indication that you are on the path to recovery and from there would most certainly rocket your way to a stronger credit rating.