One of the most often asked questions is simply, “Is it good to have a credit card?” If you’re new to building and maintaining your credit, the short answer is yes, it usually is a good thing to have one or more credit cards available to use on a regular or limited basis, depending on your spending habits. However, it’s always advisable to utilize credit cards responsibly.
Too often, young adults get approved for their first credit card and quickly run out and use it irresponsibly. They’ll buy that new phone, laptop, or game console without considering how it will affect their newfound credit score, their available credit, and their repayment plan. Many times, that first credit card is quickly maxed out and they’re left with a monthly minimum payment that stretches far into the future.
Now, that’s not to say that a new credit card shouldn’t be used. In fact, it should actually be used once in a while for small purchases that are quickly paid off. Over time, that builds a good, solid payment history that’s just as important to your credit score as that available credit is. But, you shouldn’t run out and spend just because you have a new card. Think before you use it – maybe even keep it just for emergencies. And always, always try to keep your usage under 30% of your total balance. Anything else can have a negative impact on your credit score. Remember, while it’s good to have a credit card, it’s not good to have a credit card that’s maxed out!