Credit cards have become indispensable in our modern lives. They grant us the convenience of cashless transactions, the flexibility to make purchases, and the ability to build a credit history. However, with this power comes great responsibility, and it is crucial to understand that using credit cards wisely is essential for maintaining a healthy financial future.
The importance of using credit cards wisely cannot be overstated. For men, these financial instruments offer opportunities for convenience, security, and rewards. However, they also pose risks when mismanaged.
In this article, we will explore the common biggest mistakes men make in using their credit cards and provide insights on how to avoid them, ensuring that the benefits of these plastic wonders.
Biggest Common Credit Card Mistakes Men Need to Avoid
From early 2022 to early 2023, the amount of money people owe on their credit cards went up by 17%. That's a big increase, and according to Ted Rossman (Expert at Bankrate), it is the biggest jump in credit card debt since they started keeping records in 2003.
Credit cards can be helpful for your finances – they can build your credit, give you some financial breathing space, and even get you rewards. But if you don't handle your credit cards in the right way, you need to avoid them soon.
Here are the top 10 common credit card mistakes that you should avoid
Carrying a Balance Every Month
This is the biggest mistake in using credit cards. When you keep a balance on your credit card from month to month, it can harm your credit score and cost you money in interest charges. Experts agree that the less you use your credit limit, the better. According to a FICO study, people with high credit scores (an average of 800) typically use only 7% of their credit limit.
Only Paying the Minimum Amount
Not paying your credit card bill in full can lead to debt and extra interest charges. Just making the minimum payment can drag out the time it takes to clear your debt by months or even years.
Late or missed payments can seriously damage your credit score if you're more than 30 days overdue. FICO data shows that a 30-day missed payment can lower your score by 17 to 83 points, and a 90-day missed payment can decrease it by 27 to 133 points.
Applying for Multiple Cards at Once
Applying for too many credit cards at the same time can harm your credit score and make it tougher to get approved for future cards.
Choosing the Wrong Card
Many people get a new credit card for the wrong reasons. When you are in the market for a new card, make sure it matches your spending habits and goals.
Not Using Your Rewards
If you have a rewards card, make sure you are making the most of your rewards.
Closing an Account
Closing a credit card account can damage your credit score by increasing your credit usage and shortening your credit history.
Not Reviewing Your Statements
It is important to regularly check your statements for errors or fraudulent charges.
Credit cards often come with fees, like annual fees, late fees, and balance transfer fees. Be sure you understand all the fees linked to your card.
Failing to Protect Your Card
Keep your card secure by not sharing it with others and reporting any lost or stolen cards immediately.
Tips On Maximizing Credit Card Benefits
Some tips for maximizing credit card benefits are mentioned below
Choose the Right Card
Start by picking a credit card that matches your spending habits and goals. If you love to travel, consider a travel rewards card. If you prefer cashback, go for a cashback card.
Use Your Rewards
Don't forget to actually use the rewards you earn. Whether it is cashback, miles, or points, make sure you redeem them for things you want.
Understand the Terms
Take the time to read and understand your card's terms and conditions. Know the interest rates, fees, and any restrictions on your rewards.
Pay Your Balance in Full
To avoid interest charges, try to pay your credit card balance in full each month. This way, you will enjoy the rewards without the extra cost.
Keep an Eye on Promotions
Credit card companies often run special promotions and offers. Keep an eye out for these to make the most of extra rewards or discounts.
Track Your Spending
Keep tabs on your spending to make sure you're maximizing your rewards. Some cards offer bonus rewards in specific categories, so focus your spending there.
Use Additional Card Features
Many credit cards come with extra perks like extended warranties, purchase protection, and travel insurance. Take advantage of these when they apply.
Using credit cards wisely is essential for your financial well-being. Avoiding common mistakes like making late payments, carrying a balance, and neglecting your statements can help you maintain a healthy credit score and save you money. By making informed choices and staying vigilant with your credit card management, you can pave the way for a more secure and prosperous financial future. So, remember, it is not just a piece of plastic – it is a tool that, when used correctly, can work in your favor.
Written By: Nikhil Tiwari
Edited By: Chirajita Gupta