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Using Credit Cards Responsibly in Uncertain Times

Using Credit Cards Responsibly in Uncertain Times

Credit cards can be a valuable resource, but it's important to use them wisely.

How to Use Credit Cards Responsibly During Uncertain Times

Spending money during an uncertain economy can be a scary thing to think about, especially when your checking and savings account balances are shrinking. And you’re right to be mindful about finances. But wise use of a credit card can actually help ease your burden when your finances are unsettled. You can keep your credit card use in check by following these tips:  

  • Pay on time. Making on-time payments every month helps you build a positive credit history and avoid late fees. Being late with payments or skipping them entirely will hurt you more than help you.
    Quick tip:  Sign up for autopay or set up alerts to remind you before the payment due date.

  • If at all possible, pay more than the minimum. Making minimum payments lengthens the time it takes to pay off your balance. This means you’ll pay more overall since interest will continue to accrue on the unpaid balance.
    Quick tip:  Set up a payment amount (more than the minimum), or pay your balance in full if you can.

  • Limit monthly spending. Maxing out your credit card can be dangerous ‒ especially if you’re struggling to make payments. It can also hurt your credit rating. Try to keep your monthly spending at less than 30% of the card’s limit.
    Quick tip:  Set up alerts to remind you if you’re getting close to a set spending limit.

  • Choose the right card. Find a credit card with features that fit your needs, such as a low interest rate, no annual fee or other perks.
    Quick tip:  Use only one or two cards you can manage instead of carrying a wallet full of cards.

  • Get help with debt. When debt is piling up, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of your next steps. A credit counselor can work with you to find solutions.
    Quick tip:  Talk to a credit counselor for free through DCU’s BALANCE program.    

Still Searching for the Right Card?

Enjoy rates below the national average and no-fee balance transfers with a Visa® credit card from DCU. It’s a card with member service you can trust. Learn more here.        

Please note, membership is required to open a DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card.
 
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.