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Times When You Should Think Twice About Swiping Your Credit Card

paying with a credit cardSwiping your credit card on minor purchases such as filling your car up at the gas station or buying weekly groceries is a great way to help manage your money and build your credit history. In fact, your credit card payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. So, using your card to purchase necessities and then paying it off at the end of the month will help raise your credit score.

However, did you know that there are times when it is best to NOT use your credit card? A recent Equifax Finance Blog article, “Four Times You May Not Want to Use a Credit Card,” explains when you shouldn’t be inclined to swipe your card and why.

For example, one time that you may want to think twice about swiping your credit card is to pay for your mortgage. Yes, large purchases on your credit card will help you rack up rewards. However, some mortgage companies will charge you a convenience fee to use your credit card. So, any points or rewards that you earned by putting that large purchase on your card will essentially be canceled out.

Another instance where you may be charged significant fees is when you use your credit card to pay for college tuition. The average fee for using your credit card to pay for tuition is 2.62 percent. When you’re paying a few thousand dollars a semester for college tuition, that small 2.62 convenience fee can add up. And, those rewards you thought you earned? They’re eaten up by the fee.

These are just some of the times when you may not want to swipe your credit card. For more information, visit the Equifax Finance Blog.

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Featured Jacksonville Real Estate News

Will Closing Credit Accounts Help You Purchase Jacksonville Real Estate?

jacksonville real estateFor many, one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of buying a Jacksonville new home is the process of securing a mortgage loan. Especially right now, with all the talk about stricter standards, qualifying can seem like a pipe dream, even for people with decent credit histories.

If you’re looking to buy in the near future, you should check your credit report (if you haven’t done so recently). Make sure the information it contains is accurate. If you’re planning to cosign the loan with your spouse, you’ll both need to review your reports.

If you determine that in increase in your credit score is needed, you may be tempted to use the cash you’re saving for your home to pay off and close some credit accounts. Is this the best thing to do?

The

Equifax Personal Finance Blog recently ran an article entitled, “

Credit Score Changes: How Does Closing an Account Affect My Credit Score?”  In the article, the Equifax experts admit there’s no simple answer to the question. The impact of closing an account will depend on factors such as the types of accounts you have and how long they’ve been open. The experts say you want to maintain a healthy mix of credit accounts, and they also say you want to hang on to the accounts you’ve held the longest.

Before spending your cash, the best course of action is probably to choose your lender and sit down to talk. If you aren’t ready for that step, the Equifax Personal Finance Blog offers a link to a FICO Score Simulator. It will suggest a “best action” or evaluate the action you’re thinking of taking.

For more explanation of credit reporting, visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog’s Credit section. The experts regularly post informative articles and answer reader questions. After a few visits, you may determine that applying for a home loan is just as easy as falling in love with your new Jacksonville home.