The average credit card debt in most households is $15,706 as of August 2015―and it’s currently increasing. Although this is quite discerning and intimidating, it shouldn’t stray you away from getting a credit card, it should encourage you to do more research on how to prevent future debt. Not everyone with a credit card is in debt, but everyone should learn how to avoid it and recover from it, which is why PYNK has some useful inside information on the do’s and don’ts of credit card expensing courtesy of Luxurious Credit.
Luxurious Credit is the go-to celebrity and personal debt repair company founded by Arnita Johnson. As a mother and a woman, Arnita is on a mission to inform her fellow ladies on the ins and outs of achieving your best credit score. Focusing on restoring your credit score, Arnita has made it her mission to empower and engage other women to invest in their selves and take control of their credit status. For more than eigth years, Arnita’s goal has been to inspire women and men across the world to be more knowledgeable about their credit score and realize that good credit is obtainable and maintainable.
Arnita and her team have rigorously trained to teach consumer rights and consumer law to their clients, where credit and debt collection is concerned. Arnita has made it her responsibility to educate and create a more financially stable outlet for her clients and guide them towards a debt free path. Whether you are thinking about investing in a credit card, trying to restore your credit, or maintaining your credit score; check out 8 simple tips that will help contribute to your luxurious credit journey curated by Arnita Johnson.
Photos courtesy of Luxurious Credit
- What is the best advice that you have for people in their 20’s trying to build their credit?
The best advice we have for young adults in their 20’s is to cultivate self-discipline and spend responsibly. I know you’re young and often times, at this age, you want the latest and the greatest of everything and you want it now, lol. But the latest and the greatest can have you drowning in a whole lot of debt that you can’t get out of, which will cost you big time later on at a time in your life when you’ll really need to depend on your credit the most. So don’t take on any more credit than you can afford to pay back. Make an honest, realistic assessment of your current expenses versus the income that you have coming in so that you’ll know what you can and cannot afford to spend. This will save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches in the future – guaranteed!
- When is the right time to get a credit card?
You really want to begin establishing credit as early as possible but not before your finances can support it and you’re mature enough to use them wisely.
- Is having more than one credit card an automatic “don’t” for maintaining good credit?
Absolutely not! In fact, you would, ideally, want to have at least 3 credit cards (or revolving lines of credit which includes cards such as retail and department store cards) and eventually, you want to add a mixture of credit types as well (such as an auto and/or personal loan). But again, never take on more than you can actually handle.
- For people who are skeptical about getting their first credit card, is there an easier way for them to build their credit without the commitment of getting a card?
Other than retail and department store accounts, no there really isn’t. Revolving accounts such as credit cards are extremely critical to building a good credit history. You could always piggy back – as an Authorized User – off of someone else, such as a parent, sibling, or spouse with established credit, good payment history, and low credit card balances on their credit card(s). But this will only take you so far. Creditors still want to see accounts in which you’ve established as the sole person responsible for making payments on time.
- Most credit cards have a minimum monthly payment, what is the best way to increase your credit score while paying off your card at an affordable rate?
The best way to increase your score while paying your card off is to pay your balance down to at least 30% or less of the credit limit. The more you pay the better. But here’s where it gets tricky. You don’t want to pay it off. Doing so can actually cause your score to drop. Once your balance is down to about $10 and has reported to your credit report, use it again, but as soon as you can, pay it back down. Continue in this cycle, paying every single month, on time and your score will increase significantly within a 6-month time period.
- For new credit card holders, what are some of the most important things to remember when using and paying off their cards?
As mentioned above, the most important thing to remember is to keep your balances down to less than 30% of the credit limit but not completely off to $0. People are under the impression that paying cards completely off increases the score but it can actually drop it. We’ve seen this time and time again. Activity is key, so it’s important to use your cards. However, you just don’t want to use more than you can pay back with your next check and/or the check after. So paying it completely off shows no activity. But using it, paying it “down”, and continuing in this cycle will exhibit the activity in which, both creditors AND the scoring algorithm, is looking for. It’s also critical to make your payments on time, each and every single month―even early, if possible. Late payments are devastating to the credit score!
- For more seasoned card users, what is the easiest way to manage more than one credit card?
The easiest way to manage more than one credit card is to first, keep your purchase amounts minimal. This way you’re not racking up large balances on multiple cards, making it more difficult to repay. Secondly, choose a date that’s convenient for making payments but that falls before the due date for each card. This way, when your payments are due, you can pay them all at the same time in an effort not to accidentally forget, becoming unnecessarily delinquent on one or the other. And finally, cut your interest in half. If you really want to save, then you can make your credit card payments twice per month, rather than once per month, thus cutting the interest owed in half. For example, if you’re paying $50/mo., then why not pay $25 bi-weekly to reduce the amount owed in interest.
- What are some useful tools that you use that help you manage your money and your spending habits?
One of the best tools to use for money management and budgeting is www.Mint.com. It’s free and easy to use. It’s highly recommended and it can be implemented immediately to begin managing your money more responsibly.