22 stupid things you’re doing with your credit card

Credit cards are often vilified for the enticing ease with which you can get them, and the high interest rates you sometimes pay. However, in some cases you really do bring your problems on yourself. While the best credit cards can offer helpful rewards and provide you with a valuable financial tool, their misuse can end in heartache and large amounts of debt. Even the smartest among us are guilty of some of these stupid credit card mistakes.

1. Applying for lots of credit cards at once

One recipe for disaster is applying for multiple cards at the same time.
Lots of applications for credit can be a red flag and damage your credit score. Why? Opening several credit accounts in a short amount of time represents a greater risk, especially for people who don’t have a lengthy credit history. Hits to your credit score can limit your ability to get good rates on home and auto loans down the road. Instead of applying for every card you see, comparison shop for credit cards, and choose a card that is likely to suit your needs. When you get that card, use it responsibly before you consider applying for another credit card.

2. Co-signing someone else’s credit card

The Credit CARD Act means that your children can’t get credit cards without adequate income until they are 21 — unless they have a co-signer. Or you might have a friend or relative who wants you to co-sign. This is usually a big mistake — not only are you responsible for the balance they run up, but your credit score could also take a plunge if the balance is enough to increase your credit utilization percentage or if they’re late paying the credit card bill.

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