Build Credit by Avoiding Credit Card Bad Habits

Build credit by not abusing cardsIf you are working to
build credit to secure a loan for a Chicago new home, beware of the many pitfalls that can make it all too easy to abuse the buying power of your credit card and destroy your FICO score. The Equifax Finance Blog offers a map to financial growth and shows you where the worst traps are in the new article, “
Seven Bad Credit Card Habits.”
Three of the seven deadly sins of credit cards are:

  • Paying Late – we start with the biggest sin, and the one that will literally cost you money. Late payments on your credit cards mean late fees and the potential for increased interest rates and a damaged FICO score, so you can suffer threefold for just being a little late. Paying on time is vital, so make sure to set reminders and alerts in whatever way will work for you to not miss a payment!
  • Not Having an Emergency Fund – chances are, if you don’t have a specific fund in place, you are using your credit card as your emergency fund. This will leave you in trouble if you suddenly have to take on more debt than expected, like medical bills or vehicle repairs. Having a solid emergency fund built up can save you from charging too much to your credit card and falling deeply into
    debt
    .
  • Cancelling all of your Credit Cards – cancelling your cards will narrow the amount of credit you can show that you are capable of maintaining. While the damage to your credit score for this wouldn’t be as bad as missing a payment or maxing out a card, it’s still a sure way to lower your score.

The Equifax Finance Blog has more ways to save money and avoid debt with credit cards, as well as tips on retirement, real estate, budgeting and more. You can also get quick tips to help you reach your personal financial goals by following @EFXFinanceBlog on Twitter!