Reaching 30 makes you officially an adult, but are you financially behaving like one? Take a look at these common credit card mistakes you should stop making by the time you reach 30.
Credit cards are a big part of your financial life and if you use them correctly, you can build a good credit score that will get you useful rewards. But if misuse them, you will end up drowning in high-interest debts that you definitely don’t want to carry with you when you pass your 30s.
These are some mistakes you shouldn’t make:
Making minimum payments
Credit card debt has high-interest rates. So if you carry a large balance from one month to another, the debt grows quickly and paying it off completely becomes more and more difficult.
Ideally, you should be able to pay your full credit card balance every single month, but if this is not possible, pay as much as you can above the minimum each month until the debt is completely paid off.
If you pay your balance late, your credit score will be deeply affected. One single late payment can cost you 100 points. This is something you can’t afford, because late payments also remain on your credit score for 7 years.
Late payments are only officially listed 30 days past the due date, but the credit card company will still charge you fees.
This is pretty obvious, but not paying your credit card balance at all is a huge mistake. If your debt is overwhelming, try refinancing it but under no circumstances stop paying. Never. If you do so, after 6 months the credit card company will shut your credit card off and you won’t be able to use it. Your credit card debt will be listed as a loss in their balances. This is called “charge-off” and it will appear on your record for seven years. And still they’ll try to collect payment from you.
Not checking your statements
As you usually pay online, you might probably not read your credit card statements. And yes, this is a mistake. Your statement is the only way you have to know if your purchases are billed correctly. How else would you detect if someone is making a fraudulent use of your credit card?
Take time to read the statements every month and make sure everything is ok. If you see anything suspicious, contact your credit card company and check the situation with them.