While disposable income levels have risen in recent months, purchasing things with a credit card continues to be one of the most common forms of payment for many Americans because of its ease of use and versatility. However, effectively managing credit can lead to problems if not used carefully.
Thus, financial news website Business Insider offers a few tips.
For example, if at all possible, consumers should try not to carry a balance, as missing just one payment can cause interest rates to sky rocket, the website advises. Moreover, because of the way credit scores are calculated, higher credit card balances usually result in lower three-digit scores.
In addition to paying for things in full, consumers should also try and take care of their bills electronically rather than by mail. Using the internet allows consumers to pay for things the day they're due.
"By waiting as long as possible to make your payment, you can earn the maximum amount on the funds in your checking or savings account," the source says.
Should consumers miss a payment, it may behoove them to get in touch with their creditor to ask for a break, Business Insider advises. Creditors may be willing to waive fees for those who have had a history of making payments on time.
Just as a consumer can make a mistake, creditors can as well, by making a notation on a credit report that's inaccurate. Should this happen, the consumer should consult with a credit repair attorney who may be able to offer a solution.