What happens if you stop using your credit cards?

It is always a good idea to keep all your credit cards at least minimally active, even if you pay the entire balance off on your next due date. The reason for this is because a lot of credit card companies will either reduce your credit limit or close the account altogether.

I have a credit card from the "Express Men's" store that started with a credit limit of $500, was raised to $650, then due to a couple of years of next to no activity on the card, they lowered my credit limit to just $100. They have since raised it incrementally to $850 but in some cases, they will simply just close the account.

In an attempt to be proactive, I recently purchased a few items from their online clearance selection and a nice pair of black chelsea boots just to show a little activity. My hope is that my debt to income ratio will improve enough in the near future and lead to higher credit limits and a higher credit score.

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Fingerhut Credit

I have been raving about Fingerhut Credit since day one. What I've realized over the years is that some people don't consider Fingerhut to be "real credit" just because they do not issue a traditional credit card that you can see and feel.

Honestly, I used to feel the same way. Part of the reason is that we have been programmed to associate "real credit" with a plastic card because to some of us, possessing a credit card gives us a sense of power that makes us feel good inside.

With companies like Fingerhut and Gettington, which happen to be owned by the same parent company, a physical credit card is not issued. Since neither company has a physical retail shopping store, it serves no purpose to offer a traditional credit card.

Having said that...both companies report to the three major credit bureaus and that is what's most important. Because they both report and report often, this affords your credit score the opportunity to trend upwards at a much faster pace.

It is worth noting that Fingerhut items will cost a little more than you would pay at a traditional retail store but in my opinion, it's worth it because Fingerhut reports to all 3 of the major credit bureaus to help get your credit back on track. Apply for Fingerhut Credit today!

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Is Having a Good Credit Score Overrated?

There are a lot of things about credit that are overrated such as the number of credit inquiries on your report, but your credit score itself is certainly not one of them.

Sure, you could get away without credit for several years if you had to but without it you will eventually run into problems renting an apt, buying or repairing a vehicle, etc.

Having good credit essentially gives one access to short term loans in the event of an emergency or other situation when you don’t have the cash on hand to make purchases for the things you need.

You might also like: Credit Inquiries Are Overrated

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The Earnin App: An In-Depth Review

The Earnin app which is available in the Google Play Store offers what essentially amounts to a very low-cost payday loan with all business being conducted online over an app on your mobile phone.

The amount you can borrow starts out at $100 per pay period but can increase to $500 per pay period with continued use. The loan itself is free with no interest but you are asked to leave an optional tip that can be as little as $1.00 and up to $14.00 per loan but this is just a suggestion. Tipping is not required.

The Earnin app gives loans based on the money that you have already "earned" on your job. It uses GPS tracking to determine when you are at work and when you are at home. Once the app determines that you have worked that day, you can then withdraw that money right away and the same amount will be withheld from your next paycheck.

The app works great when it works but God forbid your payday falls on a different date than the one you entered during sign up, which is what happened to me. Once this happens you might as well consider that date the end of all future loans.

The company reached out to me via email stating that they cannot determine when my next payday is and when I told them that I typically get paid on the same day every pay period, but sometimes due to the month of February or any other month that may have 28, 29, 30 or 31 days in it, my payday will change.

For some unknown reason, they just can't seem to wrap their heads around this simple concept. Their solution to the problem is to request that I make a copy of my paystub and email it to their support team so that they can determine my payday.

After doing what they ask and hoping to resume my borrowing, I am again denied a loan based on the exact same reason. I reach out to the company again and tell them that I have already sent them my paystub as they have requested and their response was to have me send it again because they have no record of receiving it.

This scenario of me emailing my paystub and them telling me they never received it went on for at least three full cycles until I couldn't take it anymore and just gave up. If they haven't received my paystub in three attempts, they never will.

Either this is somebody's idea of a sick joke or this company is quite simply the worst at conducting day to day business since the beginning of time and mankind.

Fast forward to today, almost two years later, they are still sending me emails once a month stating that they are unable to determine my paydays and asking me to email a copy of my most recent paystub so that I can resume borrowing. I'm done.

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Store Cards vs Major Credit Cards

If you have a credit card that reports to any of the three major credit bureaus, preferably all of them, this will help in building your credit score as long as you are making at least the minimum monthly payment before the bill is due...I would suggest paying more whenever possible for the best results.

A single department store credit card when used regularly and responsibly can build your credit just as quickly as having a stack of major credit cards at your disposal. It all comes down to how committed you are to achieving your credit goals.

Having multiple major credit cards might make you feel good inside, but they'll do nothing to improve your credit if you're delinquent every month trying to pay them all. When it comes to credit building, sometimes slow and steady is the way to go.

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