If you’re a LearnVest regular, you probably have the basics covered. Pay down debt. Don’t go crazy on plastic. Get a good credit score. But there are still finer (and not so fine) nuances of credit that every consumer should know. After all, your credit score can only be as good as your credit habits.
Today, we kick off Credit Karma’s weekly wave of credit info, exclusive to LearnVest readers.
The Top 5 Most Surprising Credit Facts
1. Your rewards credit card is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Issuers offer double miles or extra cash back not so you can EARN more, but to give you incentive to SPEND MORE (red flag of debt!).
2. You can choose to stop receiving annoying credit card and insurance offers in the mail through OptOutPrescreen.com. Save trees and save yourself from spam!
3. Never get a retail card. Ever. Like a rewards card, you’re more likely to spend thinking you’re benefiting from a discount incentive. Save 10% on a $60 shirt, or save $60 by not buying at all? Plus, retail cards often have exorbitant interest rates.
4. Good news! We’re either spending less or paying down debt, because the average credit card debt nationwide decreased since February from $8,380 to $7,752 in July.
5. Your credit follows you to unlikely places— job interviews, cell phone stores, car rental service, opening bank accounts, getting TV/internet account, and even apartment hunting.
Good luck and may your score go higher! We'll be doing regular contributions and look forward to answering your credit questions! Either put them in the comments below or email them to Feedback AT Learnvest.com.
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Credit Karma is the consumer’s advocate for credit! We are a completely free credit management service that helps nearly 2 million users realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score by providing free credit scores and a wealth of tools to help consumers put their credit to work for better overall financial health. Plus, we’re big fans of LearnVest! [Editor's Note: We are big fans of yours, too!]
Please visit our website at https://www.creditkarma.com.