If you graduated high-school recently and want to start building credit in your own name and gain financial independence, applying for a credit card could be a starting point.
What building credit can do for you
Building a credit history can help give you more financial freedom and choices down the road – and possibly lower your interest rates on future purchases, like a car or a home loan.
Use your credit card wisely
Your credit history reflects your ability to use credit responsibly. It’s important to charge only what you can afford, stay within your credit limit, pay more than the minimum monthly payment, and always pay on time.
Your credit report and score can influence the type of home you can afford in different ways. It influences the interest rate of your mortgage, the total amount of money you are qualified to borrow, the lending terms of your mortgage agreement. It is recommended that you check your credit score and report at least three months prior to applying for a home loan. Buying a home is the biggest investment in most people’s lifetime. So, take the time to do your homework, ensure that your credit score is based on accurate credit report information, in order to find a home that fits your budget.
– Don’t max your credit cards
– Keep a healthy credit utilization ratio (most creditors consider a ratio of 35% or lower as healthy)
– Make your monthly credit card payments on time
– Keep tabs on your scores and check your credit report regularly
In general, keeping a low balance on your credit card or paying your credit card off each month is ideal. However, letting your credit cards sit idle, without activity, it may not benefit you as the creditors have nothing to report.
Your VantageScore® and grade is based primarily on a 24-month review of your credit report. Your credit report has information – such as your history of payment punctuality, the total amount of your available credit, the total amount and type of debt you have, the number of open and active accounts, and the longevity of your relationships with creditors.