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Credit Card Use and Your Credit Report

Aug 17, 2007
Credit cards have ballooned in popularity in the UK. A recent study has shown that very soon, over a third of all adults in the UK will have credit cards, and the numbers are still increasing rapidly. It is important to remember however, that credit cards can have important consequences on your credit report however, so some caution is advisable when using them.

Your credit report is extremely important for a wide range of purposes. These days they are not only used by lenders when deciding whether or not to lend to you, but also if you apply to rent a flat, apply for insurance or in some cases, even when you apply for a job. So you should take care not to damage your credit report through credit card use.

For most people, using credit cards wisely and responsibly will not damage their credit report and in some cases, can show lenders that you are accustomed to credit and can meet your obligations and so help you to build up a positive credit history. However, one of the important items on your credit report will be the amount of credit to which you have access to. If you have thousands of pounds of unused credit open to you, it may cause some lenders to be cautious, even though you haven't used the credit. This can be damaging if you are applying for something important like a mortgage and the lender raises concerns on this ground.

From the lender's point of view, if you have a lot of credit cards in your wallet, even if you haven't used them, they will see that you have the option at any time to spend all that money and may be afraid that you will do so. Therefore, if you do have a lot of credit cards in your wallet, that you decide you do not need, or if you have been switching balances from one credit card to the next without closing each account as you go, you may want to consider closing some of these accounts so that lenders can rest a little easier knowing that you can't go out on a massive shopping spree tomorrow and bankrupt yourself.

Another danger of credit cards is that it can be easy to miss payments. Because they are not fixed monthly payments every month, but constantly vary, it can happen that you miss or are late on the odd payment. This will look very bad on a credit report as lenders will lose confidence in your ability or willingness to keep up to date with repayments. Therefore, you should be careful also about this aspect of credit cards if you wish to avoid unwanted damage to your credit report.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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