3 Credit Card Mistakes Africans Make in the US
Maintaining a good credit score can be a game-changer in the US, and for us as Africans, it is like having a golden ticket. With a little effort and savvy, you can excel in the credit score game and achieve your financial goals.
Here's something many Africans might not know: a good credit score can open doors to better interest rates, more credit options, and financial freedom. It's the key to obtaining loans, credit cards, and rental apartments.
However, there are a few common mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your credit score shiny and bright. Here are three I'd like to share:
Firstly, don't let those payments slip!
Late payments are a major no-no and can significantly impact your credit score. Just one missed payment can have a massive 35% impact on your score, as it is based on payment history. Therefore, make sure to make payments on time. If you find yourself in a jam, talk to your creditors about alternative payment options.
Secondly, don't exceed the limits on your credit cards!
Using up your entire credit limit can harm your credit score, even though it may be tempting. Your credit utilization, or the amount of credit you're using compared to your limit, accounts for 30% of your credit score. To maintain a good score, keep your credit utilization below 30%. You can achieve this by paying down balances or requesting a credit limit increase.
Lastly, don't close those credit card accounts just yet!
While closing an account might seem like a good idea to avoid debt, it can actually hurt your credit score. Credit history length and credit mix make up 15% and 10% of your credit score, respectively. When you close a credit card account, you decrease your credit history length and reduce your credit mix, which can harm your score. So, keep those credit card accounts open and use them wisely to establish a positive credit history.
In a nutshell, it's important to avoid late payments, keep your credit utilization below 30%, and maintain open credit card accounts to have a good credit score in the US. Don't forget to regularly check your credit score and reports for errors or fraud, and use credit wisely to avoid debt and improve your financial health. Let's excel in this credit score game together!
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