A quick tip from Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®
With so many Americans getting into debt, or maxing out their credit cards, you may have asked yourself: Why should I have a credit card at all?
The short answer is, when used properly, a credit card can be a valuable tool that helps you meet your personal, financial and other goals. For example, credit cards allow you to establish or build a positive credit rating, with the potential to qualify for things like car loans or mortgages.
Simply paying the card on time each month strengthens your credit rating.
A credit card is also a convenient form of payment, particularly when it’s burdensome, unsafe or simply impractical to carry cash. In fact, when you make some purchases, like car rentals or hotel reservations, a credit card may be required as a deposit or for your final payment.
Credit cards have other benefits too. Your credit card issuer may offer free car rental insurance and extended warranty coverage or price protection on items you buy.
Finally, credit cards offer payment flexibility, allowing you to finance purchases over time if you don’t have the upfront money to pay for something in full today.
But be forewarned: this positive feature can turn into a negative if you’re not careful, since taking too long to pay off your credit cards means you’ll likely wind up paying unnecessary interest costs.
Again, when used wisely and with a concrete repayment plan in mind, having a credit card can be beneficial.
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Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or BALANCE counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.
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