Using A Credit Card Wisely

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This post is about credit card responsibility. I know, you may be thinking ‘boooorrrrring!’ But hopefully not, hopefully you share my concern for financial responsibility. Whether you’re paying your monthly utility bills, education loan bills, car insurance, or just your weekly grocery loot, the credit card is the usual suspect as far as method of payment. Unfortunately, many consumers aren’t strict with themselves about what expenditures they charge to the plastic and even fewer are diligent about making sure they have the lowest interest rate possible. The result is people charging up a storm throughout the month, only to discover that they can’t pay off what they’ve spent. The result is an outstanding balance that adds up over the months and years and is compounded by interest. Before you know it, you’ve got sizable debt.

First of all, groceries may not even be the kind of expenditure you want to pay for with a credit card. Why not use your debit card? Or cash? Credit cards are best used on giant purchases that you can’t pay for at once but which you plan to pay back over several months—for example, a car, or a big screen TV, or a vacation. Credit cards are also there to help you in case of an emergency. Say you’re the victim of identity theft or a medical emergency that temporarily zaps your spending ability. A credit card may be your only way of financing the situation. Conclusion: don’t abuse your credit card; save it for emergencies and big purchases.

Another thing to think about is what kind of credit card you have. Do some credit card comparison. In addition to good interest rates you want to also make sure your credit card will protect you from fraud and identity theft. Every year, thousands of Americans lose thousands of dollars due to fraud. It’s also important to see if your card has hidden fees that weren’t originally presented to you upon signing. Often times, you may not even see the fees that are being charged to you. Conclusion: be vigilant.

Owning a credit card is a big responsibility. If you’re not careful you can find yourself in debt. Use your credit card wisely; don’t let it use you to earn more revenue for banks.

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