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Question By
jordanlevibutton

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Is there a downside to not making any purchases with my credit card for a full month?
Two months ago I got my very first credit card, a CapitalOne Secured Credit Card with a $200 refundable security deposit and an equal $200 credit line. Last month I purchased only one item with my credit card; a pizza, which I then paid the balance in full promptly. This month I have not used my credit card to purchase anything. Although the balance I owe is $0 (paid off in full from the previous billing cycle in July) I want to know if not purchasing anything for a full 1 month billing cycle will effect my credit or cause any fees. If you don't know much about CapitalOne Secured Credit Card, can you at least anwer my question in general? Is it commonplace for credit companies to give fees or lower credit for persons who don't use their card for a full month even if it has been paid off in full?

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Nope.

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Secured or unsecured credit cards are used the same way: You buy something, then pay for it with the credit card, then you wait until the credit card bill arrives to pay it.  Do not pay before then, because that would actually hurt your credit score. You won't be charged any interest on that purchase unless you didn't pay the bill in full, then the unpaid remainder would be used in calculating an interest charge. I have a few credit cards that haven't been used in months, and there is not a problem.

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Thanks.

I'm not concerned about the purchase I made as it has been fully paid off. Rather, I'm concerned about the simple fact that I went a whole billing cycle without using the card. I'm concerned that by not purchasing anything with my card for a full month would create a negative effect. Seeing as how you've gone months without using your (fully paid off) credit cards and there hasn't been a problem I will put my confidence in your experience. Thanks for the contribution!

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The information that you were provided is not correct for your situation. You only have one card, jwsister probably has many. You always want 1 card to report a small balance each month or your scores will be dinged for not showing any revolving activity. The good news is that next month as long as you use revolving activity then your scores come back, but when in the process of building credit you always want your scores to be the best that they can be in case you decide to apply for another line of credit.

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Capital One is not going to care if you don't use your card for a month and your account will still be marked as paid as agreed. No big deal there. Now if you didn't use a card for a year or two (other than your secured card) then a lender may reduce the limits on it or wish to close it. No matter how many cards that you have you always want at least one card to report a small balance each month to show revolving activity. Always wait until after the statement date but before the due date to pay your balance. If you pay before the statement date, then a zero balance will be reported. Take some time to do some reading as their is a wealth of information across the internet on the best ways to use credit cards to maximize scores.

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