There is a misconception among several people that using credit cards lowers their credit score and takes them to a debt trap. However, using your credit card efficiently will help in increasing your credit score gradually. Use your credit card responsibly to build your credit history, as well as creditworthiness.
While you maintain your credit card responsibly, the lending banks or NBFCs shall report your spending trend with consumer credit bureaus named as TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark. Further, these four leading Credit Information Companies (CICs) shall calculate and generate your credit score based on your credit information provided by the lenders, which becomes a primary assessment parameter for your creditworthiness.
Find below the key measures to improve your credit score while using a credit card:
Use credit card to build your credit history
Credit cards can help in building your credit history. It also helps in making instant purchases without worrying about any cash crunch situations. A wide range of credit cards are available in the market with features like, EMI conversion, cash withdrawal, emergency loans and offers/ discounts, such as cash backs, reward points, miles benefit, etc. You can opt for the best credit card suitable as per your requirements, and use it properly to make the most of it’s benefits.
Timely repayment of your credit card bills
Always try to pay your credit card dues in full and not just the minimum amount due. Usually, lenders offer a repayment window of at least 45 days, so it is recommended to plan your expenses or income in such a way that you are able to pay the entire amount in full by or before the due date. If in case, you are able to pay only the minimum due amount, then the interest rate shall be charged on the outstanding amount. Usually, the interest rate on the outstanding amount can be as high as 42% per annum.
Choose the right type of credit card
Nowadays, you must be receiving too many pre-approved credit card offers from various leading banks with added benefits. But applying for a credit card just because it is offered to you will not add any value to your expenditure. Opt for the credit card that matches your spending habits and lifestyle the most. For example, if you travel a lot then a travel credit card that offers discounts on flights and hotels will be an ideal choice, whereas, if your maximum spend is on shopping, then a cashback or rewards credit card will make more sense for you.
Avoid applying for multiple cards simultaneously
In your search for the right credit card, do not go over the board with multiple credit card applications at the same time or within a short duration. It is often advisable to not apply for another credit card for a few months if your card application gets rejected. Applying for multiple cards simultaneously makes you look credit hungry and card providers may not approve your application for the same reason.
Avoid over spending on your credit card
If you keep maxing out your credit limit and fail to make the payment in full then you may end up in credit card debt pile up, which in turn will start impacting your credit score. This debt pile will showcase that you are highly dependent on your cards for your expenses and you do not have the capacity to make the repayment on time. Thus, you should avoid maxing out your card if you are unable to make the payments on time.
Do not close your lesser-used Credit Cards
Older bank accounts or rarely used credit cards show your healthy relationship with the bank. Therefore, avoid closing your older bank accounts or credit cards. Closing your credit cards will delete the existing credit history associated with the card, which will shorten the length of your credit history, which is another factor considered in calculating your credit score.
Good credit health comes with your good credit behaviour. Do pay your credit card dues in time and in full to improve your credit score. Use your credit card responsibly to build a strong credit score. Opt for secured credit cards (collateral-backed) and request the lenders to increase your credit limit to further enhance your credit score. Moreover, you need to monitor your credit report at regular intervals to check for errors and to make sure you are eligible for credit at times of urgency.