Are you ready for a credit card?

Hello Kitty? I’ll take it!

Ever since I started college, I’ve been hounded by all kinds of credit card companies telling me I’ve been “pre-approved” to become a cardholder. I usually just throw them away because I know I have a horrible shopping addiction and a credit card would never be safe in my hands. But one day we’ll all probably need one, so is now the right time?

In order to establish the credit you need to buy a house or a car, a credit card will be necessary. Some people believe they can just apply for a credit card and once they receive one, they’ll play it safe and not use it. This, however, won’t build your credit, which means although it won’t ruin your credit score, it won’t maximize it either. But getting a credit card doesn’t have to be a scary thing. There are just some things you need to think about before you get one.

How do you spend money now?

If you’re not responsible with money now without a credit card, then there’s a safe bet you won’t be responsible with one as well. Do you budget your money properly? Do you monitor how much money you spend and where you spend it, or do you just spend on whatever you see at that time? You can imagine the problems that can arise when you get your credit card bill and instead of expecting the amount, you’re trying to remember what you spent that much money on.

Do you know all there is about credit cards?

If your definition of a credit card is “you buy stuff and eventually pay it back,” you may want to wait a while before you get a credit card. Do you know what APR is? Do you know that just because a credit card has no interest rate for 6 – 12 months doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than one that does? Know everything there is to know or you wont be prepared.

If you think you are ready for a credit card, make sure you know the risks and not just the benefits. Damaging your credit won’t just affect you now but later on, too. Keeping up with repayments can be hard to do, so make sure you can realistically pay them back. Don’t get one just because your friend has one. Also don’t think just because Chase has a nice commercial, they must be better. Shop around and find the right credit card for you. If you do this, you’ll get the best out of your credit card and be debt-free.

If you’re not sure whether now is the right time to get a credit card try this credit card simulator game and see if you’re ready.


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