4 Financial Mistakes To Avoid For A Good Credit Score

Table of Contents 1. Don’t run up high credit card balances2. Don’t default on credit

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When it comes to managing money responsibly, there are certain missteps that can have an immediate repercussion on your finances.

For example, unnecessary spending means less money in your bank accounts to cover your bills. Or missing a credit card statement can result in a late fee.

But there are also those money mistakes that may not have as dramatic and sudden effect on your wallet, yet they can hurt your credit score. These are just as important to avoid because, in the long run, they’ll add up to really damaging your access to affordable credit when you want to take out a personal loan or apply for a new credit card. A lower credit score means you may not qualify or, if you do, you’re interest rates will be high.

“Of all the financial mistakes that can come back to haunt you, the ones that impact your credit score can seem minor at the time but have lasting effects,” Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy for Experian, tells Select.

Here are four crucial “credit don’ts” you should avoid in order to stay on the right path to credit success.

1. Don’t run up high credit card balances

2. Don’t default on credit accounts

3. Don’t apply for unnecessary new credit accounts

4. Don’t make rash decisions that interfere with your budget

You’ve heard it many times before: budget, budget, budget. Having a budget is a surefire way to keep your spending in check and help guide you when you’re designing your long-term financial plan.

An app like Personal Capital helps you budget while also giving you advanced tools for all your financial planning needs. In addition to being a basic budgeting app, Personal Capital acts as an investment tool that links to your bank accounts and credit cards, as well as IRAs, 401(k)s, mortgages and loans. Its money-tracking dashboard makes it easy to see an overall view of all your accounts in one place. Learn more about the Personal Capital app in our review.

“Whether you use a pen and paper or an online app, it’s critical to have a plan,” Griffin says. “A new car, house, wardrobe or three-month Euro-trip with friends requires saving and preparation. A budget can help you reach those destinations and help you live a lifestyle you can afford.”

Have a high credit card balance that you just can’t get rid of?

Once you start carrying a balance month to month, it can be harder than ever get a handle on your credit card debt because interest is continuously accruing. A balance transfer credit card can help you finally make a dent in your credit card debt by offering introductory 0% interest period. This gives you more time to pay off your card balances while avoiding any additional interest.

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card comes with 20 months of no interest on balance transfers and purchases (after, 14.49% – 24.49% variable APR), plus no annual fee.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to get a credit card with rewards, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers zero interest for the first 18 months on balance transfers (after, 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR). Balance transfers must be completed within four months of opening an account. The card has no annual fee and comes with 2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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