It’s no secret that credit cards can be financially dangerous. We’ve all heard the horror stories of debt caused by credit card use. While they come with risks, they also come with many rewards. If you use them responsibly, credit cards can help you reach your financial dreams. Elements is here to educate you on how to swipe and tap responsibly.
When you make timely payments to your credit card, you can quickly build a credit history that proves you are accountable. The way to do this is to simply keep track of your spending, try to treat credit like cash, stay organized so you don’t miss a payment, and make a budget so you don’t go overboard with your spending. If you need help getting on track, talk to one of our credit experts. We are here to support you!
Be Aware of Risks
Spending Too Much
Credit cards make it easy to spend money — maybe too easy. Limit your purchases to what you can afford to pay off in a month or two. It’s important to avoid going into debt for items you don’t really need.
Acquiring Late Fees
If you miss a payment, you’ll be charged a late fee. These can add up quickly!
Destroying Your Credit
Your credit score will take a hit if you miss payments, carry a high balance, or have too many open credit card accounts.
One of the most obvious drawbacks of using a credit card is paying interest. A high APR (Annual Percentage Rate) can drag you deeper into debt if you don’t pay off your balance quickly. To avoid building up debt, select a credit card with a low APR and try to pay off the full balance each month.
Maximize Your Rewards
Credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere, both locally and overseas, and are often more convenient to use than carrying cash.
Paying It Later
While this is also a risk, the ability to pay for a purchase later can be helpful. If you have an emergency expense, it may be more responsible to charge it to your card and gradually pay it back - so you can still afford the necessities.
Credit cards provide protection with Visa® Zero Liability. You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized transactions as long as they are reported promptly.
When you use a credit card, you are often rewarded. Not only because you are building credit, but because many cards have rewards programs. At Elements, we offer Pure Perks with our Signature Rewards Visa. This program rewards you with points redeemable for travel, gift cards, and cash back.
This information is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. Consult with your tax, legal or financial adviser before taking any action.