5 steps toward credit card happiness

Take 5 steps toward credit card happiness.

Maybe you’re pretty savvy about keeping your credit card debt under control. Or you could use a few tips to help you save a little extra each month.

Here are five simple steps that you may not have known to help you understand interest, manage your payments and stay on top of your credit card spending.

Step 1

Add the power of $10 to
your payments.

Did you know that by adding $10 to the minimum payment on your credit card, you can cut your payment time almost in half?1

If you carry a balance, add the power of $10 extra, and pay off your balance sooner.

Step 2

Take advantage of
21 days of grace.

For purchases that appear on your enviro Visa card statement for the first time, you will not be charged interest if you pay the balance in full by the payment due date.2 If you don’t, interest will be charged on the full amount owing starting from the original transaction date.

So take advantage of the 21 days, and pay as much as you can to save yourself as much interest as possible.

Watch our video on credit card interest to learn more:

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Step 3

Understand how your credit score works.

Spending close to your credit limit can negatively impact your credit score. Doing it too often can be a warning sign to creditors that you could be over-extending yourself.

Find out more about your credit score.

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    Your payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score.

    If possible, pay your bills on time, in full, every month. If you can’t, pay as much as you can. Late payments, collections and bankruptcies negatively impact your credit score.

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    Your level of indebtedness makes up about 30% of your credit score.

    Stay on top of your spending and keep your balances below 50% of your available credit limit. For example, if you have a credit limit of $2000, try and keep your balance under $1000.

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    Establish credit history — it’s worth about 15% of your credit score.

    To have a good credit history, you first have to have a history of using credit. If you don’t have any record of owing money and paying it back, your score may be low as a result.

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    Keep credit applications to a minimum.

    Credit agencies track all the ways you use credit, including how often you apply for it and how much you have available at any one time. Applying for too many credit cards in a short space of time can peg you as a “credit seeker,” which might hurt your ability to secure new credit.

Step 4

Make sure your credit report is correct.

It is estimated that up to 40% of credit reports contain an error3, so it’s important to check your credit report every year to make sure that it’s correct. If you find an error, contact the creditor or credit agency to have it corrected. Don’t let incorrect information impact your financial well-being.

You can get a copy of your credit report from these trusted sources below:

Equifax and Transunion LogosEquifax - 1-800-465-7166
Equifax and Transunion LogosTransUnion - 1-800-663-9980

Step 5

Use your reward points for financial redemptions.

If you're a Vancity member with an enviro Visa card, you'll also be able to redeem points for a variety of financial rewards, like topping-up your Jumpstart™ High Interest Savings Account or making a payment towards your Vancity mortgage.

You can also use your reward points to pay down your Vancity enviro Visa card balance. It’s just one more way you can stay on top of your credit card payments. See your points balance on your monthly statement, in online banking or Manage my Visa card.

Check your points value
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Want to learn more about enviro Visa?
Call 604-877-4999 or 1-800-611-8472

1 With an enviro™ Visa* card at 19.5% interest rate, and based on an average $1,000 outstanding balance.

2 Does not include cash advances. The 21-day grace period does not apply to cash advances, balance transfers and amounts of written on a Visa cheque. Interest will be charged on these types of transactions from the date of the transaction. For a complete description of the 21-day grace period, see the Vancity Visa Credit Card Agreement.

3 Hodges, David. “A score to settle.” MoneySense Nov. 2013: 51-54. Print.

® Equifax is a trade-mark of Equifax Canada Inc. used under license.

™ enviro, Vancity enviroFund, Vancity Rewards and Make Good Money are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.
*Trademark of Visa Int., used under license.