Don’t Be A Statistic: Avoid These First-Time Credit Card User Mistakes

/ BY / Credit 101

The average person in the United States gets their first credit card at 20 years old. By the time they graduate college a few years later, the average student is carrying $2,200 in credit card debt and has a credit score of just 638, considered poor credit by most standards. Luckily, you can prevent being one of these statistics by not making common mistakes in the beginning. Some of the first-time credit card user mistakes that also have the biggest impact on your financial well-being include: Applying for credit cards too frequently. Almost half of all college graduates have four or more credit cards when they graduate. When it comes to credit, however, "the more the merrier" definitely doesn't apply...

Keeping Track of Your Credit Report Inquiries

/ BY / Credit 101

If you’re like most of us, you probably think that keeping an eye on your credit report primarily means watching out for charges that don’t belong to you. However, there are some things that go into your credit report you may not be aware of. Surprisingly, credit report inquiries can act like little dings on your report, adding up over time and lowering your credit score. Monitoring and controlling the number and type of inquiries helps keep your score high. What are credit report inquiries? Credit report inquiries are requests for information from your credit report. Anytime you apply for credit, whether it’s a mortgage or credit card, it’s recorded on your report as an inquiry. They are routinely used by...

How Your Credit Score is Calculated

/ BY / Credit 101

Your credit score is an indicator to lenders of how likely you are to keep up with payments on your credit card or repay a loan. A high credit score is desirable for many reasons. Lenders determine your eligibility for certain types of credit cards by credit score; the better your score, the more likely you are to get offered cards with generous rewards or lower interest rates. If you’re applying for a mortgage, you’re likely to get a better interest rate with a good credit score than you would if you have only a fair credit rating; that can save you thousands of dollars over the course of the loan.

How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

/ BY / Credit 101

Is there a rule about the number of credit cards that you should have to keep your credit score as high as possible? Should you think twice about signing up for new cards? Say you have two credit cards that you use regularly and responsibly, making payments on time and staying within your credit limit. You're not actively looking for another card, but in the past week, you've gotten offers for airline miles credit cards that have great rewards programs. You'd like to get the miles. Or perhaps you've been trying to cut spending, and you get offers for one or two low interest credit cards.

Earn Good Credit and Peace of Mind in 2014

/ BY / Credit 101

Have you made a resolution this year to be one of those lucky people who qualify for a credit card for good credit? You know the advantages of such cards, which can include a lower interest rate that can significantly reduce the amount of money that you pay out over the year if you carry a balance each month. Those cards may also offer better rewards deals. You’ll also benefit from the peace of mind that comes when you know that your finances—and your credit rating—are in good shape. Here are five ways that you can improve your credit standing for 2014. Get caught up on any late payments—and get on a schedule so that you meet your payments on time each month...


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