Building and Maintaining Good Credit with Credit Cards

Building a good credit history is crucial when you’re planning to get a loan, mortgage, or apartment in the future. It also represents your trustworthiness and shows potential lenders that you are capable of making timely payments.

However, it can be challenging to start building a good credit history, especially if you’re new to the world of financing.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get started — one of which is using a credit card. This type of banking account offers convenience and can help you build credit by making on-time payments and keeping your balances low.

Using a credit card effectively also enables you to increase your creditworthiness and unlock other borrowing options.

This article will dive deeper into the topic of building and maintaining good credit with credit cards as it provides you with practical tips on how you can achieve these goals.

Always Pay on Time and in Full

Paying your credit card bills on time and in full is essential to ensure a good credit score. That’s because late or missed payments can negatively affect your score, which makes it difficult to obtain credit in the future and impact your credit utilization ratio (more on this later).

Ensuring secure credit card payments is also a crucial step to take. This is to prevent you from becoming a victim of credit card fraud that could damage both your credit score and finances.

Setting up automatic payments and allotting more than the minimum installment are two ways you can make sure that you don’t miss your dues. Meanwhile, monitoring your statements regularly and immediately reporting any suspicious activity are actions you can implement to keep your account secure. 

Make Regular Purchases With Your Card

One of the many ways that regular purchases can help you build and maintain good credit is by demonstrating that you are a good borrower who effectively manages your credit and pays your dues on time.

Consistent use of your credit card allows you to establish a credit history. This record of your accounts and past payments is used to determine your creditworthiness. As you make regular purchases and timely payments, you can establish a positive credit history and improve your credit score.

Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to using a credit card. That’s why it’s important to note that while regular use of your credit card can help you build and maintain a good credit history, ensure that you are using it responsibly.

This means only charging what you can afford to pay back in full and making timely payments to avoid late fees and interest charges.

Maintain a Low Credit Utilization Ratio

Credit utilization refers to the ratio of the amount of credit you use compared to the amount of credit you have available. Next to your payment history, this key factor is the second most important variable that credit scoring models use to determine your credit score.

Having and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio shows that you’re using less of your available credit and can responsibly manage credit without overspending. It shows that you are less of a risk to lend money to because you are more likely to pay your bills on time and in full.

Moreover, keeping your utilization low allows you to demonstrate a pattern of responsible credit use to reporting agencies. In turn, you’ll get a higher credit score that can open up more financial or lending opportunities in the future.

Refrain From Opening Too Many Accounts at Once

While it’s tempting to apply for multiple credit cards simultaneously or in a short period to speed up the credit-building process, it might do the opposite and negatively impact your credit score instead of improving it.

Applications for a new credit card are subject to hard inquiries, a type of information request that reflects your full reports and can lower your credit score by a few points when pulled.

That means lenders deem applying for too many credit cards, within a short period, as a desperate move for gaining credit — which banks could then interpret as you facing financial problems and tag you as a bigger risk.

So, if you want to build and maintain a good credit score, it’s best to stick to the one you’ve just opened for a while. Only apply when you are ready for an upgrade or a new account that offers different features.

Track Your Progress

By regularly monitoring your credit score and reports, you can see how your actions and behaviors are impacting your credit. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that you are on track to meet your credit goals.

Part of keeping track of your progress is checking your credit card activity, which includes your spending, payments, and balances. Doing so enables you to determine the areas where you may be overspending or struggling to make payments.

It can also help you identify any errors or fraudulent activity on your account, allowing you to protect your credit score and prevent further damage to your credit history.

When tracking your credit card activity, it’s important to keep an eye on the credit card processing fees. These costs can add up quickly and impact your overall financial health. Understanding their purpose and how they affect your bottom line enables you to make informed decisions about which credit cards to use and how to use them responsibly.


Building and maintaining good credit with credit cards requires a combination of factors. From being disciplined in your repayments to keeping track of your progress, following the guidelines listed above enables you to establish and maintain good credit — which then provides you with numerous benefits in the form of better interest rates, access to credit, and financial stability.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment