We continue on with the topic of credit cards for the month of October. Halloween is coming up, and we never want credit cards to be a frightening topic. Credit Card Product Manager Courtney Hirayasu from Bank of Hawaii is here to answer some of our viewers' questions on credit cards and your credit score.
Melissa asks, "Is it ok to keep transferring balances between credit cards so as to get the promotional interest rate? Or, should you stick with one card to pay it off? I see they charge a 4% transfer fee each time you transfer balances."
Balance transfer fees will differ depending on the credit card. Opening new credit cards to move balances from one offer to another can impact your credit. It's a good idea to research and find the best promotional offer and length of term, then calculate the amount per month you would need to pay off your balance within the promotional time frame.
Winney asks, "How old does a credit card have to be so that closing it won't hurt your credit score?"
Closing any card can impact your credit score because it essentially reduces your total credit availability. Any change to your credit history can have an impact. It's best to keep the cards you've had the longest, since their history best reflects your ability to pay your bills.
Kawena asks, "How should teenagers coming out of high school with no credit, build credit?"
It's a good idea to visit your local bank, and see what loan or credit line products they can offer to help establish credit. Whether it's a secured loan or small line of credit, see which option works best for you. Sometimes a credit card may not be the best option, so it's always good to work with your bank.
If you have a SmartMoney question you'd like answered, go to our website to post your credit card questions. Next, we'll talk about unmet financial goals for 2015 and how you can maximize the remainder of the year to meet those goals.
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