Back Back

How To Use Your Credit Card Responsibly

Credit cards can be particularly useful financial tools – as long as you use them wisely. If you’re not careful and you don’t track your usage, you do run the risk of falling into credit card debt, which can be particularly difficult to extricate yourself from.

As long as you make consistent payments on time, you’ll find you’re also able to boost your credit rating, which makes this type of debt especially attractive and can help you access other financial products in the future. 

But remember that if you don’t make regular payments on time, you run the risk of affecting your credit score (1) and this can make it tricky to take out other credit.

To help you use your credit cards responsibly, here are some top tips from the Fresh Start team.

Settle the balance each month

You can steer clear of having to pay off any interest that accrues on your credit card purchases by settling the balance in full each month.

Keep your card for emergencies

Identifying the difference between need and want can really help you keep on track with your credit card spending. If you make sure that you’re only using your credit cards for emergencies, then you don’t need to worry that you’ll spend more than you’re able to pay back.

Don’t miss payments

Even if all you can afford to repay is the minimum amount each month, do make sure that you never miss a payment. If you do miss a payment, for whatever reason, you could find yourself hit with a late fee and penalty interest rates, as well as registering black marks against your credit score.

Don’t max the card out

You can actually hurt your credit rating if you max your card out or use more than 30 per cent of your available credit, so keep an eye on how much you’re using the card.

Pay more than the minimum amount

If you’re able to, paying more than the minimum amount owed each month will help you clear your balance more quickly and stop interest from building up.

Read the credit card customer agreement properly

You need to know as much as you can about the card you’ve taken out and what the terms are, so make sure you read your agreement carefully so you know about due dates, interest rates, fees and everything else.

Set up a direct debit

It’s very easy to miss a payment just through forgetfulness, but you can get around this very easily with the help of mobile banking and direct debits. All you need to do is set up a direct debit that pays the minimum amount each month and then you know you’re always covered, just in case you do forget.

If you are struggling with debt at the moment because of cost of living challenges, get in touch with us today to see how we can provide credit card debt help.




Money Helper has replaced the Money Advice Service and brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.