Tips to make you Card Smart

Manage your spending and maintain a good credit score

Credit cards and charge cards are important financial management tools that allow you to purchase the things you want sooner and pay for them later. But, because cards are so convenient, it can be tempting to overuse them, and overspend your budget.

Being Card Smart includes knowing how to manage your spending and realizing the importance of having a strong credit rating.

These simple tips can help you be even more Card Smart:

1. Know your spending limit and don't exceed it. 

2. Know the due date of your payment and be disciplined about making sure your financial institution receives your payment on time.

3. Always pay at least the minimum due to keep your account in good standing. For Charge Cards, remember to always pay your balance owing in full and on time each month.

4. Maintain your preferred interest rate by paying at least your minimum payment on time each month.

5. Consider consolidating outstanding balances into one convenient payment or to a lower interest rate.

6. Use online financial management tools to keep track of your card spending. That way, there are no surprises when your statement arrives.

7. Avoid taking cash advances. They often incur a fee and can add to your debt and borrowing levels.

8. Make a budget, and stick to it. Track your spending to help you remain aware and in control of your purchasing behavior.

9. Regularly review your monthly statements to ensure there are no errors or unauthorized charges on your account.

10. Check your credit bureau report once a year by letter to verify that your information is correct. This will help to ensure that lenders evaluate your profile with accurate information. You are entitled to review your credit report one time per year without charge. Contact credit bureau service providers directly for details.
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