When you’re trying to become more responsible with your credit cards, you’ll come across a lot of advice online. Unfortunately, not all of this advice is reliable. In fact, following the wrong advice could see you get into further credit difficulties.
To help ensure you don’t follow the wrong information, below are some of the main pieces of credit card advice you should ignore.
“The More Credit You Use, the Better Your Credit Score Will Be”
There is a very common misconception that the more credit you use, the better your score will be. While it’s true that getting accepted for credit means your credit score is obviously healthy, utilizing too much credit can actually harm your rating.
One of the main factors used to determine your rating is how much of the credit you’re using. Ideally, you’ll want to have a low credit utilization. This means using less than 50% of the credit available to you. If you’re using 50% or more, it’s a red flag that you’re struggling financially and need to rely on credit.
“Never Transfer Balances onto Different Cards”
You’ll also see advice telling you not to transfer an existing balance onto another credit card. There are times when balance transfers can cause you to owe more money. However, they can also prove useful at times when you need a payment break.
Many balance transfer cards also come with 0% interest for six to twelve months. So, you could actually pay off the balance sooner, paying off less in the long term due to the 0% interest.
“Don’t Pay Attention to the APR”
If you look at the annual percentage rate (APR) of credit cards, you’ll see it can be scarily high. However, some advice tells you not to worry about this as it only really applies if you get into trouble. The truth is, the APR makes a huge difference to your finances.
When choosing a credit card, it’s important to select one with the lowest APR. That way, you’ll be paying less back in interest, making the repayments much more affordable.
“Only Pay the Minimum Each Month”
Ignore any advice which tells you to only pay back the minimum of your balance every month. Yes, paying back the minimum can be useful at times, but it’s also a sure-fire way to never get out of debt.
The minimum payment usually only takes into account the interest on the balance. So, you won’t actually be paying off much of the balance if you only pay the minimum.
“Just Pick Any Card; They All Help”
A little like the advice to not pay attention to the APR, you’ll also want to avoid simply picking any credit card. No two cards are equal. They have different interest rates, benefits and uses. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing a card which best fits your circumstances. Always take the time to compare credit cards before choosing the right one for you.
So, there you have it – some of the main pieces of credit card advice you should absolutely ignore. Following the wrong advice can be really detrimental to your finances.