Credit Score Boot Camp – Part 5

Build Credit History: Always keep your oldest credit card.

Wasn’t it exciting? Your first credit card? For most of us, it was our introduction to the real financial world: the privilege of borrowing, and the responsibility to pay back.

Perhaps you’ve changed your financial institution since you got that first credit card. Here’s an important piece of advice: keep that credit card. Even if you now do most of your banking with another institution, that old credit card is valuable to your credit score. If you can, you should always keep your oldest card, and use it a little so it remains active. That long credit history is a valuable asset.

Someone who has no credit history is usually viewed as riskier than someone who has credit and manages it responsibly. If you are thinking of canceling a card, get some advice first, even if you aren’t using it.

Simply put, use credit wisely. Keep your oldest card, use it regularly, and keep it paid up-to-date. Remember the 30% rule, and fight hard to get your overall debt to under 30% of your available credit…and keep it there!