5 steps to credit card happiness

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5 steps to credit card happiness.

Learn how to manage your payments and stay on top of your credit card spending.

The more you know about your credit card, the easier it is to make smart financial decisions. Here are five things you can do to build your credit, manage your payments and stay on top of your spending.

Step 1

Add $10 to your payments.

It might not seem like a lot, but adding just $10 to the minimum payment on your credit card can cut your payment time almost in half.1

Pay off your balance sooner, $10 at a time. To find out how long it could take you to pay your balance, use our credit card payment calculator.

Step 2

Take advantage of the interest-free grace period.

When you buy something with your credit card, you get a minimum 21-day interest-free grace period from the last day of your statement period to the payment due date. If you pay your balance in full by the payment due date, you won’t be charged any interest.2 But if you don’t pay off your entire statement balance by the due date, you’ll pay interest on the full amount of each purchase you made – based on your average daily balance.

So take advantage of the 21-day grace period, and pay as much as you can to reduce the amount the interest you’ll owe.

Watch our video on credit card interest to learn more.

Step 3

Understand your credit score.

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.

It pays to understand what makes up your credit score, so you can foster financial habits to support good credit. Here are some of the things that contribute to your credit score:

Your payment history makes up about <b>35%</b> of your credit score.

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

If possible, pay your bills on time and in full every month. If you can’t, pay as much as you can. Late payments, collections and bankruptcies negatively impact your credit score.
Your level of debt makes up about <b>30%</b> of your credit score.

Your level of debt 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 $2,000, try to keep your balance under $1,000.
Establish credit history — it’s worth about <b>15%</b> of your credit score.

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.

Tip: 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

Check your credit report.

It’s 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 wellbeing.

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

Step 5

Use Vancity Rewards points for financial redemptions.

If you're a Vancity member with an enviro™ Visa card, you can 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 balance

Keep learning.

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