Using credit wisely is important to maintain a good credit score and avoid debt. Track your credit on a credit report.
Get a free credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus like Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion®.
1. Make payments on time: Late payments reduce your credit score. Set up automatic payments to avoid late fees.
2. Spend within your means: Avoid buying things you can't afford. Your credit card is a tool to help build credit.
3. Check your report regularly: Monitoring your credit can help you keep track of where you stand and spot errors and fraud.
4. Understand credit card terms: Knowing your agreement's specifics can help you avoid unexpected fees and charges.
5. Avoid using credit cards if you're already in financial trouble: Charges and other fees will add to your debt burden.
6. Don't get hooked on special services, programs, and goods that credit card lenders offer to bill to their cards.
7. Beware of unsolicited increases to your credit limit: Don't be encouraged to spend more if you can't afford it.