When I was in high school preparing for my life of “adulting,” my Dad told me it would be a good idea to start building my credit by getting a credit card to use for paying for gas. Start small, you know? He also told me that every month I should pay that credit card balance off in full if I could. My Dad was a genius at paying things on time. We used to joke that the mail lady would drop off the bills, he’d ask her to wait while he wrote the checks for everything and she’d take his payment with her all in one trip. That didn’t really happen but I bet it could have with how diligent he was about not falling behind with bill-paying!
Credit card debt in the United States has reached more than $1 trillion. But, credit cards don’t have to be negative if you use them the right way. Used wisely, they are a great way to build up your credit and make it easier to do things like buy a home or a car if or when that day ever comes for you.
Having good credit can be a huge relief on your mental and emotional health and help cut down on stressful conversations if you’re married or dating. So ignoring them altogether may not be a good idea. Here are some things to be aware of in the arguments of credit cards:
If you use them correctly, credit cards can take you on a discounted vacation/dinner/night out. Many credit cards now come with either reward points or will give you cash back.
Credit cards have a direct effect on your FICO credit score. If you keep your account in good standing, that shows up on your credit score and bears positively for your future.
On the negative side, paying interest on your purchases is definitively never any fun—especially when you’re unsure of how it’s calculated and what you’ll be charged on.