Personal Finance

Web Extra: Credit Card Certainties

OTM Web Extra: Credit Card Certainties

There are certain things every credit cardholder must know to make informed decisions about their use of credit. According to John Ulzheimer, that starts with the understand that the amount of debt you carry on credit cards is critically important to your credit score and worth 30 percent of the points in your FICO score. You must keep that debt as low as you can.

Secondly, know that shopping for loans is different than shopping for a credit card. There are provisions within the system to encourage you to shop for the best interest rates on auto loans and mortgages, but those protections do not apply when you’re looking for a new card.

Retail-issued cards WILL damage your credit. Especially cards from big box stores that offer no payments for several years. You want to avoid those at all costs because what you’re really doing is carrying stagnant debt for a long period of time, which can be the kiss of death. You can also be unwittingly opening an account with a finance company with a lot of these cards, and the interest rates in those cases are through the roof.