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#SmartSpending: Keep Your Credit Usage in Check During the Holidays

The holidays are a whirlwind of buying and it’s easy to let your guard down when it comes to your finances. Here are 3 surefire ways to keep your credit utilization in the safety zone and your credit score on the rise.

  1. Know your credit limits. Whether that involves double-checking your monthly statements or your online accounts, you have to be aware of your credit card limits to know how much you can reasonably spend.
  2. Regularly monitor your current balance. While it may be tempting to use all the credit you have available, doing so actually hurts your credit score. The measure that reflects this is credit utilization—how much of your credit limit you actively use. Keeping your credit utilization low (below 30 percent) will help keep your credit score in good standing.
  3. Pay your balances more than once a month. Credit utilization plays a bigger role than some may realize, mainly because card issuers don’t necessarily wait to report balances to credit bureaus until after the bill’s due date. Issuers typically report balances to credit bureaus on set dates each month, regardless of your billing due date. To ensure that this doesn’t have an overly negative effect on your credit score, pay your balance more than just once per month—so your balance doesn’t build and result in a higher utilization rate.

You can also call your card issuer and ask when they report balances to credit bureaus. With that information, you can make sure your balance is paid and your credit utilization is reduced before the report is issued to credit bureaus.

So enjoy your gift shopping and take advantage of sales. Just keep an eye on your credit card balances and utilization rates, so your credit score stays where you want it to be. Sometimes all it takes is some small changes to make a big impact.

Looking for more financial insights? Bankers Healthcare Group is more than the nation’s leading lender to healthcare professionals and we offer more than just medical business loans, credit cards and medical patient financing—we’re a trusted partner with your success in mind.

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