Using a credit card or a few of them for home decor and other items for your house can feel exciting, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you start this journey. A lot of first-time homeowners make spending mistakes that could end up costing them dearly. You don’t want to be this person, and you don’t have to if you learn to avoid the following mistakes.
Carrying a Balance
Some people think carrying a balance is a good thing. People withhold funds they could use to pay off a credit card balance thinking it could improve their scores. There’s no telling where this came from, but you don’t need to do this. If you can pay off the debt on one or a few of your cards, don’t hesitate to do so. The less you owe, the better. No one is saying you can’t utilize your credit cards; just make sure you can pay off what you borrow as quickly as possible. Do this long enough, and you’ll get a better credit score.
Minimum Payment Pit
It’s not a good idea to deal with your credit card debt by merely paying the minimum each month. Credit cards offer you a minimum payment that ensures you won’t have to pay any additional fees, but this minimum usually means you’ll be in the negative longer. This minimum also comes with interest rates you’ll have to worry about for a longer period. Don’t put yourself in this position if you don’t have to. Rework your budget so that you can pay more than just the minimum each month. Failure to do so could put you at risk of getting deep into debt.
Not Reviewing the Statement
You get your bill statement every month that shows you what you’ve spent. Most people get that bill, open it up, and throw it away without paying attention to the data. Don’t make that mistake. You want to read your statement, paying close attention to what you spent. You’ll be doing this to catch any mistakes. You also want to see if there are any unauthorized charges made to your credit card. This could be fraud, or it could also mean that someone in your household used your credit card. It might be tedious, but it’s a wise thing to do when you get your bills.
Applying for Random Cards or Loans
Avoid applying for credit cards or small loans you don’t need. This is a mistake many first-time homeowners make in anticipation of needing access to credit to pay for unexpected repairs and upgrades. When you reach a certain age, credit card companies start offering cards. You’re only human, and seeing all those credit card limits can be enticing. Make sure you only apply for a few credit cards that offer perks you need. If you start to open up too many credit cards, you might be tempted to use them all, and that could make your debt overwhelming. You’d be surprised how quickly your anxiety can get out of control when you start seeing all those bills pile up on you.
Closing a Card
First-timers, especially those who start to feel overwhelmed by credit cards, start to think the best thing to do is to close cards. This is a mistake you don’t want to make. You can close credit cards that come with annual fees you don’t want to deal with, but try to keep as many as these open as you can. Your credit score improves the longer you keep credit cards. Be sure to keep the oldest credit cards you own open. If you absolutely must close some of your cards, go for younger ones to keep your credit score high enough and get professional debt consolidation help from a firm like Memphis Associates.
Don’t worry if you’ve already made a few of these mistakes. You can always work on your credit score. The good thing is you’re trying to get better, so be patient with yourself.