Black Friday is coming! Black Friday is coming! Hide your credit cards and secure your wallets! Yup, it’s that time of the year again, the time when you spend, spend, spend, and your credit card screams, screams, screams. You may not agree, but Black Friday is both good and bad. It’s good that you get discounts on so many cool stuff, but it’s bad because the number of cool stuff is so high and you just can’t choose one. You have to have them all. Unfortunately, this spending frenzy can hurt your credit score, especially if you’re not disciplined and responsible. But this is where we come in. We’ve put together a list of tips that will help you protect your credit score during Black Friday.
Tips to protect your credit score during Black Friday
1. Pay everything you owe on time
The first and most important rule of taking care of your credit score is to never miss a payment. If possible, make sure that you pay everything in full and on time each month. And if you can’t, then pay as much as you can each time. Credit payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score.
In today’s modern world, we have the possibility to set up reminders that can help us to avoid missing payments. There are apps and websites that can help us and there’s always the possibility of setting up an auto-pay from your bank account. This way, you can rest assured that you will never miss a payment.
2. Avoid maxing out your credit card
Your credit utilization ratio makes up 30% of your FICO score. This is why it’s so important to maintain low credit card balances. Black Friday means a lot of shopping, but it doesn’t mean that you should use your credit card for everything. Try to keep your balance below 30% of your limit, and you’ll be just fine.
3. Don’t be afraid to use cash
This is how you keep your credit card balances low. Using cash is one of the easiest ways to protect your credit score. Since you avoid using your credit card, you also avoid making mistakes with it.
4. Don’t apply for new cards
Some people believe they can maintain low credit card balances and protect their scores by using more than one credit card when shopping. That’s why many Americans apply for new credit cards before the start of the holidays. Unfortunately, this does not help. In fact, it can actually hurt your score, since credit card issuers pull your credit to see how much of a risk you are. This process, which is also known as a hard inquiry, lowers your credit score.
5. Be a vigilant shopper
During the holidays, honest citizens are out shopping and right behind them come the human wolves, thieves looking only to scam them and steal their money. You need to always be careful when using your credit card. And that goes double for the holiday season.
Make sure that your card never leaves your sight and that the retailers are trustworthy. Also, don’t forget to protect yourself while online.
6. Your credit cards also come with rewards. Use them!
Those credit card rewards can come in handy when Black Friday arrives. Don’t be afraid to use any perk which may bring you a discount or even help you pay off what you owe.
The holidays are a time for happiness and relaxation, but this doesn’t mean that you can ignore your finances. No matter what you think, they don’t have holidays. If you want to protect your credit score and even improve it, then you have to be a responsible and smart credit card user all year round.