Many people think that it is impossible to have a good credit score in your twenties. They automatically assume that we all are terrible with money, can’t save to save our lives, and will max out our credit cards the moment the companies give us that piece of plastic. I have to say… I OBJECT TO THIS STEREOTYPICAL ASSUMPTION. We aren’t all the same! Yes, some people can’t handle the responsibility of having credit cards without maxing them out every time they get a chance, but not everyone is like this. Some people use them as a way to build up their credit (even at twenty years old!).
I’m going to share with you how I was able to build my credit score (after less than a year and a half) up to a 733. That is only 77 points away from a perfect score, which is an 800. Pretty amazing for a twenty-one-year-old with makeup addiction, right? My credit is one thing I don’t mess around with. Yes, I’ve used my credit cards A LOT… but I use them responsibly. Let’s talk about that.
I don’t spend what I can’t pay back.
I always think ahead when making purchases, whether it is $30 or $200. If I didn’t think I would be able to pay it back before my bill was due, I wouldn’t make the purchase. And when I say pay it back, I mean pay all of it back – in full.
I always pay my balance back in full every time.
I never pay the minimum suggested payment. I have never once let my credit card bills collect interest. This is how they get you. They tell you that you only have to pay so much back a month, but that interest adds up and you’re paying back 50% more than what you would have before if you had just paid it all off at once. Sucks, right?
I always pay my bills on time.
Most places have some kind of “no late fees for the first year” type of deal, especially for new credit card users. Don’t even think about utilizing this “deal”. Just pay it back on time, every month. Not only do you need to pay the entire bill but paying it on time will keep it from collecting interest and causing you late fees (most of the time, you’ll get late fees after that deal is up so you might as well avoid the habit).
Each of my credit cards for a purpose.
I currently have two credit cards through clothing stores and one general card. The two stores that I have cards through are stores that I shop at, at least, twice a year, if not more. I try to limit myself because paying back big bills can be stressful on me and my wallet. However, I use the times that I already know I will be purchasing from these stores to build my credit. It helps me and it was something I was going to purchase one way or another. My general card is my gas card. This is all I use it for. I never put any other purchase on it. That way, the highest bill I’ll ever have will likely be $60 and that’s only if I have to fill up twice in one month!
I plan ahead.
If I know I’ll need something that one of my credit cards can cover, I’ll use it and just save the money I had for it to pay the bill. This is a great way to build your credit. And you won’t have to worry about paying it later because you were already planning to just buy it outright.
I take advantage of the deals.
Although this doesn’t directly affect your credit, I wanted to talk about it because it can! I always wait to buy things with my store credit cards until I have coupons or there’s a sale going on (unless I really have to have something for a specific purpose). Even though using your credit cards can build your credit, using them too much and using more money on them can actually hurt your credit. This is how taking advantage of the sales will help you in the long run!
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