Credit check

Congratulations, you have been approved for a credit card! Most credit cards start you off with a small limit that you can eventually raise to a higher amount. In order to receive a higher amount, you typically must use the card and make on time payments. It is best to keep the card balance at about 30% of your limit. For example, if you’re approved for a limit of $300, its best to only spend $90 off of your credit card. Those numbers change as your limit increases.  Sounds easy enough right? You use your credit card for a few items here and there, pay it off and everything is fine. A few months of consistent payments and you are a credit star! What do you do when that unexpected expense happens, and you use your credit card? Or that big storm is coming so you use your card to get extra supplies. Suddenly BOOM, you’ve maxed out your card. Paying it back is not in your budget because you used it for things that already was not in your budget so what now? Don’t panic. Credit card companies look for at least a minimum amount to be paid per month. My first minimum payment was only $25. Factor in your budget making at least the minimum amount and go from there. If you are able to, add a little more to try to bring the balance down quicker. Keep an eye on your credit score because during this time it may go down and up. Don’t fret. If you’re being consistent it should go up. Another example of credit is people who have a lot of negative marks on their report. They may have negative marks for many different reasons, but how can they improve their score to benefit them? People in situations like that are typically better off finding someone that specializes in credit repair. There are quite a few out here so it’s best to find someone you like and do your research. If you’re not comfortable taking that route, did you know you can dispute your own remarks on your credit? For some people it’s quick and easy. For others, they’d rather get someone else to do it for them. Whatever your situation is, don’t be afraid of credit cards or using the card in an emergency. Be afraid of not doing anything to help yourself if things take a turn! -Lori G. Clark

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