Here's the Best Credit Card Advice We Found on Facebook

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  • Facebook gives a platform to ordinary people for sharing advice.
  • On Facebook, you can find credit card safety tips, advice about your credit utilization ratio, and learn how to keep on top of your credit report.

Social media can be good for all kinds of things.

I was an early Facebook adopter, and back when I joined, it was pretty early in the days of social media and only those with a current college or university email address could use it. Nearly two decades later, I still use Facebook to keep in touch with old friends, make new friends, and interact with groups of people I share interests with. Oh, and to share cat pictures -- a lot of cat pictures.

Like a lot of social media sites, though, Facebook has given ordinary people a platform to give advice (for better and for worse). The good news is that there's actually quite a bit of excellent advice for money management, and in particular, how to best use credit cards. Here's some great advice I found recently.

Credit card safety tips

On Facebook, the Brea, California, police department recently shared images of a credit card skimming device that was found at a local store. These devices are used to steal data and information (including PINs) from consumer's payment cards. The BPD also offered some useful tips to keep your credit card and finances safe when using a card to pay, especially for gas. These tips included:

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  • Choose a gas pump close to the gas station market, as it is less likely to be targeted by scammers, since it can be seen by employees.
  • Cover the keypad if you're entering your PIN.
  • Pay for your gas purchase inside, rather than at the pump.
  • Don't use ATMs or payment terminals that appear damaged, or if something looks wrong.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card to pay. This is excellent advice, as credit cards have much stronger fraud protections than debit cards.

Fraud is always a risk, and it's important to know how to protect your money from scammers.

Good reasons to use credit cards

A Facebook user named Kendra Downing advised that her followers "stop letting those credit cards sit around and collect dust and start using them." She noted that credit cards are great tools that can be used to earn cash back and rewards. She also emphasized the better fraud protection offered by credit cards, along with their ability to help you build credit history and increase your credit score. As she put it, "once you learn how to properly use credit cards you can start reaping the benefits of it." Learning to use credit cards to your advantage can do wonders for your finances.

The importance of a credit utilization ratio

Tammy Michelle Suttles posted about a mistake that can hurt you if you're trying to repair your credit. She extolled the importance of maintaining a low credit utilization ratio, and keeping it ideally at 30% or below. "A high credit utilization rate lowers your credit score while a lower credit utilization rate typically raises the score." She is absolutely correct about this.

Keep up with credit reports and scores

Kristen Goyette, a mortgage loan originator in eastern North Carolina, offered some quick "get smart credit tips." These included:

  • Don't charge too much on your credit cards (and she repeated that 30% figure for your credit utilization ratio).
  • Don't co-sign for someone else's loan. A lot of people have had their own credit ruined in the process of trying to help someone else (or had to pay a lot of money on a loan that wasn't theirs to save their credit).
  • Never pay bills late (and at least pay the minimum amount due on your credit cards).
  • Don't ignore credit reports and your credit score.

This last tip in particular is a lot more important than you may realize. An error on your credit report can drag your score down and work against you when you try to borrow in the form of a mortgage, personal loan, or a new credit card. Check up on your credit regularly.

While there is plenty of terrible advice out there on the internet, we can feel grateful that social media platforms also make it possible for ordinary people to share great credit card advice.

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