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Credit history and credit scores are a matter of major concern to every American. There are very few people who have excellent credit scores. There is also a limited section of the population that has poor credit scores. The larger numbers of individuals have a fair credit score. This lies in an average range of about 650 to 700 and is a fairly good score to have. While credit scores are vital to the industry and determine almost every kind of financial transaction that occurs, they are not so easy to maintain. Many people do not realize that while a bad mark can stay for 7 years, you can in the meantime still improve your score by making payments on time and closing off your outstanding monthly balances.

When people sign up for credit cards, they are often attracted by the great offers available and fail to look closely at the terms and conditions involved. Cardholders may take up a card with their fair credit score that gives them a 1 percent cash back offer. What happens afterwards is that they have to spend a certain amount in order to be eligible. This offer would become valid only after a certain large amount has been spent on purchases on your credit card. Make sure you know the conditions and terms well before signing up. A five percent cash back card may sound fabulous but you will also end up paying a huge interest rate and annual fees on it. Check that you can pay the monthly dues and close it rather than carrying it forward. In the event of there being a large purchase, it would simply add up to a large amount and huge payments which will grow more difficult to meet with.

If you have fairly good credit you can negotiate with the banks on the credit cards on offer. You can ask the bank to offer you a better card with no annual fee and with a good interest rate. If you have a clean record most banks will be able to offer you a good deal. Also make sure that you are not crossing over your credit to debit ratio. That way you can ensure that you make payments promptly and maintain your good credit score. As your score improves you can get a higher credit limit and lowered rates of interest. It is important to use your credit card with care and for purchases that you can afford to pay back eventually.