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Credit Cards. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

September 22nd, 2006 at 09:42 pm

Is the point of credit cards ruining people’s lives, or are people’s lifestyles ruining the point of credit cards. Most people say that credit cards are destructive pieces of plastic that can dig you deeper and deeper into a hole of never-ending debt. This is not always so - personally, credit cards gave me a wonderful credit score that allowed me purchase a house when I was 20 without a huge down payment. If used correctly, credit cards can be your best friend. They will help you save money, build credit, and give you perks if you use the card for legitimate purchases.

Credit cards wield a powerful affect on your credit score. They make up a huge portion of the over all score; therefore you should not mess up with credit cards. They can either make or break you. There are many credit cards out there that have all sorts of benefits and perks. To pick out the best credit card for you go to Creditcard.com and select what attributes you want in a credit card. If you want to use a credit card, but think you will abuse its power (buy now - pay later) think of it as a debit card for the first year. When you make a purchase pay it off immediately when you get back home. This system worked for me, and it made me realize that my credit purchases directly affect my checking account. When your checking account is depleted, don’t go off buying a ton of stuff. There are good purchases and stupid purchases. Be wise and stay safe.

10 bad habits that lead to debt disaster according to Bankrate (along with Jeremie’s input):

1. Misusing balance transfers. - Moving credit card balances over to prevent you from having to pay the balance in full is an awful idea. Pay it off when you get the bill.

2. Not checking credit reports. – Always check your credit reports yearly. They allow you to see it for free at Annual Credit Reports so check it out. If you find any mistakes - correct them ASAP.

3. Failing to alert creditors about a financial hardship. – Make sure you talk to someone if you have a life changing event that will prevent you from making payments such as: job loss, personal injury, death in the family, ect.

4. Thinking of “budget” as a dirty word. – Budgets work for some people, but I believe in the “pay yourself first” method, so budgets are not on the top of my priority list.

5. Using retail store credit cards to make use of discounts. – Using retail cards for discounts is sometimes a great thing on big purchases, but do not open a credit card at every retail store, and remember the extremely high interest rates on those cards.

6. Procrastinating on creating an emergency fund. – Always have a six to eight month emergency fund to protect yourself from job loss, or personal injury.

7. Paying bills in no particular order. Pay your important bills first. Mortgage, rent, and utility bills always come first. Credit comes second.

8. Charging purchases instead of paying in cash or with a debit card. – I believe in the total opposite. If you can afford it pay in credit, then pay off your balances. This builds your credit, and, depending on your card, can give you cash back.

9. Making credit card payments late. – This will not happen to you, because you’ve registered to pay your bills online, RIGHT? Late payments can ruin your credit, and you lose a ton of money in late fees.

10. Making the minimum payments only. – This will make you so poor. If you had a $5000.00 balance at 13.5%, it would take you 28 years paying the minimum payment. Pay your balances in full!

1 Responses to “ Credit Cards. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

  1. veronak Says:

    I totally agree with you when you stated "people’s lifestyles ruining the point of credit cards" A cc in my hand was like pulling a trigger (distructive) but I am learning to allow the cc's to work for me

    Great post

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