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Using Your Credit Card Wisely

July 9, 2021
Paying with credit card on a mobile device.

When it comes to credit cards, are you making all the right moves? Using credit cards responsibly helps build credit and keep debt under control. Stay on track with the following tips:

Pay on Time

Making on-time payments every month helps you build a positive credit history and avoid late fees. Quick tip: Sign up for auto pay or set up alerts to remind you before the payment due date.

Pay More Than the Minimum

Making minimum payments significantly extends the time it takes to pay off your balance. That means you end up paying more in interest over time. Quick tip: Set up a payment amount (more than the minimum) or pay your balance in full if you can.

Know Your Limit

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, a rewards program, or other perks. Quick tip: Use one or two cards you can manage instead of carrying a wallet full of cards.

Monitor Credit Card Activity

Frequently check your credit card account to stay on top of spending. Quick tip: Set up notifications for purchase alerts and balance updates. These tools may also help you catch potential fraud.

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 debt counselor for free through DCU’s BALANCE program.

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.