You’re trying to improve your credit score and want do so without spending too much money. Getting a new credit card can improve your score, and 0% interest sounds pretty inexpensive, so on the surface this appears to be a great option. Unfortunately, credit card offers aren’t always what they appear.
Whether you can use a no-interest credit card to improve your score depends almost entirely on what your current credit score is. If you’re starting out with a low credit score, then you might have some work to do on your credit score first. However, if you have good credit and you’re looking to upgrade it to excellent status, the answer is probably yes.
Bad to Average Credit
If your credit is below the 630-640 range, it’s unlikely you’ll receive a 0 APR credit card offer. If you do, be wary — it could very well be a scam. In general, great credit card offers are reserved for those with great credit, but don’t worry if that’s not you yet. With a little bit of perseverance and some time, you can have great credit too.
Start improving your credit by paying all your bills on time, if you’re not already. If you have a lot of debt now, it’s also a good move to pay some of that down before getting a new credit card. Then, if you still want a credit card, make sure you do your homework and check out the Nerds’ picks for your particular situation and credit score.
Above Average Credit
If your credit is above average and you want to give it a boost, you can probably use a 0% APR card to do it. While a no-interest credit card is a pretty sweet deal, know that there may be other credit cards out there with perks that may better fit your lifestyle. Additionally, if you happen to miss a payment or send it in late, it could void that 0% interest rate, leaving you with a card with few perks.
That 0% rate won’t last forever, and when that interest charge comes back, it can make a serious dent in your budget. You could just close the card account after the introductory interest rate runs out, but that might hurt your credit score. The length of accounts matters, and longer is better. For this reason you should really consider what the interest rate will be after the 0% offer runs out before deciding to apply.
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