Credit cards are something that a staggering 191 million American adults have. And it’s not just one credit card; in the vast majority of cases people have on average 2.7 cards. Maybe you’re a person who hasn’t had a credit card up to this point but is now thinking about getting your first one. Sure, credit cards can make purchases convenient and affordable at that moment, but for all the pros they offer, there is also a list of cons. Being aware of what credit card ownership means can help you to use yours responsibly and safely.
How Will You Handle the Payments?
A credit card is a handy tool to have, but if you’re not able to make the payments in full, or at the very least the minimum payment, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of hot water. Now is the time to be honest with yourself; how will you handle the payments? You can use a budgeting app that helps you organize bill payments and allows you to set reminders. This will ensure you never have a late or missed payment.
For those times when you can’t pay off the credit card in full, experts always suggest you pay more than the minimum. Even if it’s just a bit more, it will have a bigger impact on the balance.
What If You Don’t Have Good Credit?
Another question people have is how can you obtain a credit card if you don’t have good credit? This is more common than you think, and the good news is that there are credit cards that don’t require a credit check to apply. You can take a look at the Build Your Own Nest Egg blog as it highlights the easiest credit cards to get. The bottom line is that not having good credit doesn’t automatically mean you won’t get approved where credit cards are concerned; it may just limit your options.
Use Caution When Online Shopping
It’s not the fact you want to engage in online shopping that is an issue, it’s about knowing how to spot safe sites versus those that may be scams. There are too many stories in the news of people making a purchase online only to never receive the item, or worse yet, have their credit card information stolen. When shopping online with a credit card use these basic rules:
- Make sure the website is secure
- Make sure you are shopping on a secure device, not a public computer
- Is the merchant or website well-known? Is it reputable?
- Don’t shop through links, instead type the website directly into your browser
Always Look at the Monthly Statement
Far too many people assume that their monthly statement is accurate and that there are no issues. But, unless you check it thoroughly each month, you can’t be sure. Set aside time to look over your monthly statement and ensure that all purchases and charges are legitimate.
Getting your first credit card is a big deal, and it can offer a huge convenience. Just be sure that, for your financial well-being, you use it safely and responsibly.