A:

Through Synchrony Bank, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) offers two credit cards: the Walmart MasterCard and the Walmart credit card. When used properly, both of these credit cards can help you build your credit history and credit score.

By reviewing the terms and conditions of the Walmart MasterCard and Walmart credit card, you can verify that your account activity is reported to the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Data, such as your account balance and list of late payments, will appear on your credit history, which the credit bureaus use to calculate your credit score.

5 Tips for Building Your Credit Score with a Walmart Credit Card

Whether you're just beginning your credit history or looking to strengthen it, the single most important thing you can do to improve your credit is to make monthly payments on time. Accounting for 35% of your FICO credit score, payment history is the biggest component of any credit score. By paying on time, you improve your payment history and avoid late payment fees.

If you miss a payment deadline, make that payment within 30 days. A missed payment isn't reported to any credit bureau unless it is made 30 days after the deadline. However, you'll still be responsible for applicable late payment fees (up to $35 with either Walmart card).

Keep a low balance on your credit card by paying off the entire balance every month. The amount owed is the second-largest component (30%) of your FICO credit score. By keeping a low credit utilization ratio, you're contributing positively to your credit score. Most credit issuers like to see a credit utilization ratio below 35%.

Don't close your credit card account. Your credit score improves as the length of your credit history grows. Even if you stop using your Walmart MasterCard or Walmart credit card, keep them open, especially if they're your first or only credit cards.

By enrolling in electronic statements with your Walmart credit card, you can also enroll to receive a monthly FICO credit score to keep track of your progress. Watching your score go up will keep you motivated to keep on building your credit.

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