Credit Card Tips for Retirees

The golden years might mark the end of working for a paycheck, but it doesn’t eliminate the importance of keeping a solid credit score. Credit scores affect more than just your ability to borrow; even things such as your car insurance rate are determined in part by your credit score.

The way you use your credit cards, in particular, has a huge impact on your credit score. So whether or not you need the use of credit cards in your life, it is important to use them anyway to help build and maintain a solid score.

Here are some ways to do this:

  1. Use a card with no annual fee, unless it’s a rewards card that justifies the fee by giving you rewards you benefit from greatly.
  2. Make sure you understand the terms of your credit card so there are no surprises.
  3. Only use cards with a low interest rate, especially if you carry a balance. This is particularly important if you are on a fixed income.
  4. Use your credit card every month, even if it’s just to shop for gas or groceries.
  5. Pay off your balance in full each month.
  6. Cashback and travel rewards cards are often better for retirees, so use what works for you.

Bottom line, credit is always important, even after you retire. So don’t slack off on maintaining your credit rating just because you think you don’t need to borrow money anymore. Always keep your credit sound, because you never know when you will need your score to help you gain a financial advantage.

About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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