1 year ago
Last edited at 10:25PM on 7/18/2011
The convenience of credit cards makes them a popular option. They reduce the number of monthly bills to keep track of and many have appealing rewards programs for using them. If not carefully monitored and maintained, however, cards can lead to financial demise.
Should you decide to get a Credit Card resist the temptation to get more than one. When shopping for the best rates, ask lots of questions and be sure you understand all terms clearly. There are different ways you might go about using your credit card. One of them is to use it for all monthly purchases so that all charges appear together in one monthly bill.
Should you decide to use your credit card this way, make sure that you pay the full amount of your bill every month. Also keep careful tabs on all your purchases so that nothing in you bill will catch you off guard and you are prepared to pay what is owed.
If you intend to use your credit card for large purchases, spreading out the cost over an extended period of time, be sure to get a card with a low monthly interest rate. Because credit card bills are paid monthly, it can be tempting to overuse them, racking up expenses you will later regret. But realize that the best thing you can do is pay your full bill and avoid carrying an outstanding balance.
Never get a cash advance with your card. Although it might seem like a reasonable solution, the exorbitant interest rates on cash advances can end up costing more than they are worth and, if you are unable to pay, eventually destroy your credit. Use cash advance only in the case of an extreme emergency.
If you use your card wisely and keep up with your monthly payments, having a credit card can actually help your credit score. But also bear in mind that irresponsibility and abuse of cards will do just the opposite.