According to a study from the New York Post, many Millennials are fairly clueless about how credit cards work. Seeing as how some Millennials are in their 30s now, this is bad news. Not understanding how credit cards work typically leads to overspending, debt accumulation, and low credit scores. So, Pennsylvania parents currently raising the next generation (“Generation Z”) should take these survey results as a warning. Now is the time to talk to young people about proper credit card management. Educating kids about using credit wisely to build good credit scores will help them avoid the pitfalls of massive credit card debt.
Why Pennsylvania Millennials are Failing at Credit Card Management
For this study, the New York Post surveyed 500 Millennials in Pennsylvania and other states who use credit cards. 36% of poll respondents admitted to having maxed out cards, and 46% said that they routinely carry balances over from month to month. Surprisingly, 45% of Millennials polled didn’t know the interest rates attached to their credit cards.
The most shocking thing revealed by the study is that 6% of Millennials questioned believed that missing a credit card payment would actually improve their credit score. Another 16% thought that missing a payment would have no effect on their credit score. Granted, these are fairly low numbers, but still too high. Speaking of too high, about one-fourth of this sample group claimed to carry three or more active credit cards. As any credit expert knows, juggling more than three credit cards is challenging even for seasoned pros. Staying safely out of debt with multiple cards is practically impossible for those who don’t know how to manage credit.
What Pennsylvania Parents Should Tell their Kids about Credit Cards
The most important thing that Pennsylvania parents can teach young people about credit cards is that they are credit building tools. Thinking of credit as supplemental income quickly leads credit card users into debt. Also, anything purchased with a credit card costs more if the balance rolls over to the next month. It is, in fact, perpetual balance carrying that leads to very high balances and maxed out cards.
Speaking of high credit card balances, carrying them is harmful in two ways. First, interest charges on hefty balances accumulates quickly and makes it harder to pay cards off. Second, consumers who carry large credit card balances are viewed as risky borrowers. For this reason, credit utilization is factored in when credit scores are calculated. Young people should know that their credit utilization ratio (the percentage of available credit used at any given time) matters. Ideally, Pennsylvania credit card holders should use no more than 30% of their available before paying on or paying off balances. Go over this percentage, and your credit score might drop even if you make every payment on time.
Finally, even though there are risks associated with credit cards, most consumers shouldn’t avoid them completely. A lot of Millennials are still “credit shy,” meaning that they don’t use credit cards or take out loans at all. Of course, anyone living this way avoids building bad credit, but they’re not building good credit either. Sadly, when they try to finance their first big-ticket items, they discover that having no credit is almost as bad as dealing with bad credit. With no credit history, it’s hard for lenders to make an informed decision about your status as a borrower.
Why all Pennsylvania Credit Card Users Should Check their Credit Reports
Another important lesson for Pennsylvania parents to instill in their children is the necessity of credit report monitoring. Not only is this the best line of defense for credit card users against identity theft, but it will also allow consumers to check for credit report errors. Unfortunately, mistakes on credit reports are more common than most Pennsylvanians realize. Also, a lot of these inaccuracies bring down credit scores.
Every 12 months, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows you to request free copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Credit reports from all three bureaus are available at www.annualcreditreport.com. While looking over your credit reports, if you find information that is not correct, call Credit Repair Lawyers of America for help with the disputing process. We’ll clean up your credit reports – for FREE – and possibly make the offending creditors and credit reporting agencies pay you damages.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (856) 912-3511 or sending him a message through our contact page.