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Community Advocacy Organization

Credit Card Myths: Busted


Credit Card Myths: Busted

There are many misconceptions about credit cards; for example, how they can affect both your credit score and your ability to qualify for a better loan rate. Here we will bust some common credit card myths and discuss how to responsibly manage credit.


Myth #1: You need to carry a balance to build credit You don’t actually need to carry a balance to build credit! When you open a credit card and use it wisely, you will build credit — whether you carry a balance or not. In fact, it’s a good habit to pay off your card every month. You’ll build your credit and avoid paying interest on your purchases.


Additionally, when you open a credit card, another good practice is to not use more than 30% of your available limit. This helps keep your spending down and your monthly payment manageable.


One way to keep your credit card balance low while building your credit is to choose consistent expenses to use your credit card for each month, like groceries, gas, and other monthly bills, including subscription services.


Myth #2: Only the rewards matter when choosing a credit card When choosing a credit card, many people only look at the card’s rewards, rather than considering everything the card has to offer. While rewards can be important, you should also look at other factors including the interest rate, annual fee, and fraud protection offered with the card. For example, a card that offers 3% cash back might sound great, but if it has an annual fee of $299, you would have to spend over $10,000 per year to make up for the annual fee and start earning cash back.


Make sure you examine and compare all the features and benefits to the cards you’re interested in before you apply for one. From low-rate cards and cashback rewards with no annual fees to tiered cashback, MSUFCU offers a wide range of credit cards to help you responsibly build your credit. The Credit Union also offers a variety of online and in-person financial education seminars and webinars that cover building credit, budgeting, fraud prevention, and more. Visit msufcu.org/events for a full list and to register.


Members can apply for and manage their credit cards through the MSUFCU Mobile app and ComputerLine®, the Credit Union’s online account management system. For more information, visit msufcu.org/visa.


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