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Money This forum is for support with financial issues.

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Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 01:56 AM

I'm taking Personal Finance this semester, and we watched an intro video where they talked about how bad credit cards were. I personally think that there's nothing wrong with using them, and I thought it would be interesting to see how some other people felt.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 02:00 AM

It depends how you use them. It's easy to get yourself into debt using them if you don't watch your spending because you may end up overspending and not have the money to pay it off when the bill comes. If used responsibly they're a good way to build credit. The one I have can only be used at a medical provider that accepts it. I've used it for my wisdom tooth removal and general dental checkups because I don't have dental insurance and needed the work done. I've also used them to buy glasses for my parents and I. So I use my card for the important things.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 02:12 AM

They aren't bad if you use them wisely.

First, you want to pay more than the minimum payment each month. Secondly you don't want to charge it too high.

When I first got my card I was able to pay off the balance once or twice. Then I had to charge some larger things and have had other money issues and haven't been able to pay it off.

That being said, when I get a job I will probably start paying 100-200 on the card and I'll get it paid off.

If using a card you should only use it for certain things. Another thing is, say you want to charge a bigger item like $200. Once you do that you shouldnt use the card again until you are able to pay it off etc.

Emergencies do happen though. I owe so much mainly because I've had to use my cars to get my car fixed. If it weren't for that I wouldn't owe so much. I mean, I originally got my card to buy textbooks and also buy books that I'd read for fun.

I know some people who only use it for gas or they only use it for medical stuff.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 02:24 AM

Quote:
I know some people who only use it for gas or they only use it for medical stuff.
Definitely a good point. There are credit cards that are specific for certain stores/places/etc too! While mine isn't specific to one store it is a card that people get for medical purposes only. But, some stores and gas stations also offer their own credit card that you can use, which may help limit you a little bit if you're afraid that you'll go on a huge shopping spree as soon as you get a card. Of course, you are still at risk of overspending, but now at least you've limited where you can spend.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 03:08 AM

I have gone ahead and moved this to the finance forum as I feel it fits here better. If you disagree please feel free to message me or another PA to discuss it.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 05:06 AM

I think credit cards are very important, actually. If you want to rent or buy a house (or some other large purchases, such as a car), you have to have good credit. I recently got a year 2016 car, and wouldn't have been approved had I not had the extremely high credit score that I do. Additionally, when applying to rent, they usually check credit scores and may even have a minimum, which my potential future landlord currently requires. I think too many people see credit cards as "free money." I use mine like a debit card, I use it to buy gas and groceries and I pay it off every single week. In my most recent statement, I believe it said my credit score is above 85% of Americans or something like that, and I have no problem applying for loans or making big purchases now because of it. In addition though, it's great to have in case of an emergency where you may not have the cash.


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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 07:57 AM

I have 4 credit cards in my wallet. Three are linked to my parents (one is for only for gas and another is for anything other than gas) and we have on the we use only if we are in the United States/travelling (and for concerts presales lol) and then I have my own that is used a few times a month in order to build up my credit score, usually from stuff my parents have me buy for them.
I've always been taught that don't buy anything unless you have the money to pay it off in your account and I've had my card for a few years in my own name (not linked to my parents) in order to build up my credit score which is important. My mum pays them off as soon we receive the bill (that's what we were told by our various cards is best).
When my parents buy new cars, they charges them in full on the credit card and then pays the card off after so they gets the points. My dad doesn't believe in leasing vehicles so he uses the card and then pays it in cash (and gets less of a look if he was to pay in actual cash/transfer). That way our cards don't have a ballence owning after the month is over and we get points/cash back as well which is an added benefit.

I've been raised to pretty much treat it like a debit card and that's what we do and avoid interest. I think they're important providing you are smart with it and don't get into debt.
   
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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 22nd 2017, 02:02 PM

I agree with what's been said above. There was a time when I didn't believe in credit cards. I had decided I simply don't want one ever because I don't want to be a slave to debt. Well since then I've realized I can be strategic about if and then it can be beneficial for me and even help me gain financial independence which is what my aim is.
It is a tool to get you to your goal, whether that goal is to build credit or pay for things that you really need like in the medical card situation. If you're dtrategic and intentional about it, as the users above had done for themselves, you're less likely to go wrong with it. There may be emergencies or certain circumstances that push you off course with paying if back but that's with anything. And while I don't believe in capitalism and the way money works, there really aren't any sustainable alternatives right now.

Historically, in the 70s and 80s when corporate service jobs were becoming the main kind of work, the corporations thought it would be cheaper and more convenient or something, to instead of giving the employees a raise in salary, they gave the employees credit cards as a "benefit package" which honestly really hurt a lot of families. The prices of every thing where going up, butthe salary wasnt following in correspindance. I remember I learned this from a documentary, i forget which one but that really stuck with me.

But the fact is that we need the system we have now till we can do better and make a transition where people are in charge of their own economy. Until then credit cards don't necessarily need to be boycotted or seen as the devil.
   
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Re: Thoughts on credit cards? - August 23rd 2017, 02:29 PM

I myself will probably never get a credit card in my life just because I'm very irresponsible with my money and to have virtually unlimited access to money could get me in a world of trouble. It just depends on how you are as a person with the responsibility of money. It can be a lot easier than you think to spend $5 here and $10 there and all of a sudden you've spent $150 (trust me, it's happened to me). Therefore, I will probably always stick to debit cards because it limits how much money I can spend (and won't let me spend any more after I've overdrawn the account $5).
Another thing that I don't like about credit cards is that those companies flood your mailbox with offers to open up accounts when they find records that you're in college because they frequently target college students due to their vulnerability and broke-ness. In my opinion it's just an opportunity to find yourself in a whole lot of debt and I don't think its worth the risk.
I think credit cards should only be an option when you are financially stable and can easily pay off the bill at the end of the month but that's just my opinion.
If in the future you find yourself looking at opening a credit card account, please please please make sure that you are at a point in your life where you know for a fact you won't have any issues in paying off the bill. You don't want a simple swipe of a card to ruin your credit history and keep you from getting a payment plan on a car or keep you from getting a new TV or apartment or house. It will follow you through your adulthood.




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