Paying for college, financing a home, buying a car or a new pair of boots—all of these goals and the ability to pay for them shape your credit history. A survey by the American Bankers Association (ABA) reveals a troubling statistic—56 percent of U.S. adults do not know their credit score. Busey is partnering with the ABA for Get Smart About Credit Day on October 16th, now in its 12th year, as an opportunity to educate consumers on the impact of credit on your financial future.
Busey provides the following dos and don’ts of credit:
Know what you are getting yourself into. Read the fine print on the credit application. Be knowledgeable about late fees, interest rates, and when payments are due.
Do make timely payments. No matter your balance, it’s always in your best interest to pay at least the minimum every single month.
Do find the right card for you. There are several credit card choices, but only a handful that may be able to meet the needs of your financial situation.
Don’t get a credit card for the sake of getting a credit card. Retail stores and college campuses are notorious for convincing people to sign up for credit cards they may not need and might not be able to handle.
Don’t ignore the signs of credit trouble. If you find yourself making the minimum payment on credit cards for more than two months in a row, you are showing the first signs of credit trouble. Also watch if you are maxing out one or more credit cards or if you are unable to pay off your balances.
Don’t share your credit card number. Or your social security number. This is especially important if you didn’t initiate the call or transaction. While shopping online is generally regarded as safe, always make sure to use trusted sites; you can also use a temporary virtual card number (a number provided by your credit company that is separate from your physical card, but linked to your account) to add another layer of safety to online purchases.
At Busey, we are here to help you preserve and protect your credit with years of experience, tools and helpful advice. Call us today for a credit consultation.