Tips to Successfully Manage Your First Credit CardAnthony DaCosta, Senior Vice President and Director of Sales, Univest Bank and Trust Co.
Thinking about getting your first credit card? Or maybe you have a child headed off to college in the fall with their first credit card in hand. Follow these tips to make the first credit experience a step toward a strong financial future.
- Choose your first card wisely. All credit cards are not created equal. It's important to know your card's two key terms: APR and fees. APR stands for annual percentage rate, and it tells you how much interest you'll be charged for the balance you carry from month-to-month. The lower the APR, the less you'll pay in interest on your card. Some cards have fees such as annual fees, late fees and cash advance fees. Look for a card that has no annual fee, or a low annual fee, and pay attention to other fees before using your card.
Once you have chosen your card, it's time to start using it the right way.
- Pay your bill on time every month. Build a strong credit history by meeting all payment deadlines. This will also help you avoid fees that may be charged if you miss or are late making a payment.
- Pay more than the minimum balance. Paying more than the minimum due will shorten the time it takes to pay off the card's balance. That means you will be paying less interest.
- Limit your monthly spending. A good rule is to keep your monthly spending at less than 30 percent of the card's limit to show creditors that you can use credit responsibly.
- Ready for the financial responsibility of a credit card? The Univest Visa® Platinum credit card is a great way to get you started on the path to a strong credit history. No credit score is required to apply for the card, making it a great option for individuals 18 and older with limited or no credit to build a credit history and gain financial independence. For more information, call 877-723-5571 or visit www.univest.net.
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is an Equal Opportunity Lender.