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Slategirl

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Finally got a credit card - now what?
Just got a secured credit card with $500 limit. How much should I charge on it each month and is it better to pay it off completely each month or leave a small balance. Have heard alot of different things. I'd like to pay it off completely each month if that is the most beneficial.

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New credit card

Well you have to decide where you want to be 12 months from now , there is no problem with leaving a balance but it is not necessary to build credit. Name of the game is to build credit and keep the cost down ( not paying interest is the best way) you can use the card then make payments every week or 2 and after 6 months to a year you may be eligable for an unsecured card.

Top Contributor
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Low UTI, 0 Balance, On Time= Good Credit

Charge 10%-20% of your credit limit per cycle.  10% is the most optimal but may not be feasible with a lower limit card.  This is the percentage range that credit lenders and fico find the most favorable.  

Pay off entire balance monthy.  The old thinking used to be that credit companies liked it if you left something on there because they made money that way.  But that's just an urban myth.  Paying off the entire debt shows responsiblity and the financial capability to do so.

Lastly, find out your closing date, reporting date and your due date.  Never assume to pay by due date as most of the secured cards often take longer to clear the funds or process the payments you make.  Mine closes the 22nd, they report the 23rd and I'm due the following 19th.  I have learned to always find out what that balance is on the 23rd and plan ahead to make sure payment will go out in enough time for them to process it.  Definitely not the same as my old Amex's!

Don't know whether you're rebuiilding or just starting out but either way, you should see real progress if you just keep it low, on time and carry a $0 every month after payment.  Six months of that and you'll have built the beginning of something good!  Congrats!

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