In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Use credit wisely: Credit card do’s and don’ts from American Savings Bank

Leveraging credit to access perks

Sponsored by American Savings Bank

We all know that living in Hawaii can get expensive. Did you know the average person here has over $8,000 in credit card debt! However, when used wisely, credit cards can be one of the best ways to maximize the value of your money.

Your credit score can play a major role in your ability to rent or buy a home, finance a car, or even finance a wireless phone. A healthy or high credit score shows lenders that you can be trusted to repay a loan as agreed. It can also grant you access to more financing options, such as different ways to purchase or rebuild your home. A high credit score can also positively impact your interest rate.

Top 5 do’s and don’ts for your credit card:
1) DO use it to build or increase your credit score. A common benefit to opening a credit card is to build or increase your credit score. Credit scores take into account a range of factors, but one is the amount of credit available. For example, you might open a credit card with a limit of $5,000, but only spend $2,000 – that $3,000 of available credit can positively impact your score.

2) DO leverage the perks and benefits. Often times we find customers don’t understand their credit cards reward system and then these rewards go unused. You are leaving money on the table because many credit cards offer a program that rewards you for every dollar spent. You can then redeem your rewards depending on the card for gift cards, merchandise or even cash back..

3) DO track your spending. By leveraging a credit card, you can easily track where you are spending your money, and this can help with budgeting.

4) DON’T miss a payment or be late. Late or missed payments, delinquency, collections, and charge-offs, which happen when a creditor has given up trying to collect on an unpaid debt, are all factors that severely impact your score.

5) DON’T max out your credit limits. This could negatively impact your credit score.

To hep you get a better idea of how to use credit wisely, American Savings Bank is launching a new unlimited 2% credit card. In addition to offering a simple rewards program, you get 2% cash back on everyday purchases every time you use it. With this card, you also have free access to your credit score and can check it online anytime for free!

For more information: Asbhawaii.com, Instagram: @asbhawaii, Facebook: American Savings Bank