Everyone and their mother have probably heard that credit cards are bad for you. Is this statement true you might ask? Well, only if you don’t know how to use them right. The only people you’ll ever hear tell you that credit cards are bad are the ones that don’t know how to use them right. Since you’re going to be starting your credit future shortly, there are a few things you need to remember when using your student credit card.
Lesson #1 – Don’t spend over your head
Most college students have the assumption that credit cards are just a piece of plastic and they tend to just spend and spend and not realize what they are actually buying. Then, when they get the bill in the mail, they are shocked on why their bill is so high. Well, guess what? This shouldn’t be a shocker to you because you’re the one that did all of the spending. Credit cards involve self discipline and if you can be disciplined with your credit card, you shouldn’t have a problem using your credit card at all.
Lesson #2 - Track your spending
Every time you swipe your credit card, make a note of what you purchased. The reason you’re going to want to make a note of all of your purchases is because this will help you know what’s going to be on your statement at the end of the month. The best way to make a note of your spending is usually by either making a little note in your cell phone or jot it down on a piece of paper that you can keep in either your wallet or car. I know this may sound stupid but it really can help you out with your spending. Remember, debt is something you don’t want to get yourself into!
Lesson #3 – Always pay on time
The credit game can be a fun one and if you don’t pay your bill off in time, this is when your credit score starts to hurt you. One of the golden rules when it comes to paying a bill is to pay it off in time. Even if you don’t have enough, always make an effort to pay off the minimum. The minimum is usually a small portion of your total bill. If you can make this payment, you’ll be thanking yourself in the long run.
Lesson #4 – Pay in FULL
As mentioned in the last point, it’s always nice to pay off your minimum at least but you should always pay your bill off in full each month. The reason you’re going to want to do this is because you don’t want to pay those pesky interest rates. Every time you don’t pay your bill off in full, the credit card companies are going to charge you a fee. This is why it’s important to keep track of your spending. If you can get in the habit of paying your bill off in full, that would be the best for your credit future.
Having a credit card designed for a college student shouldn’t be a challenge, instead it should be a great experience. Credit cards can really give you a lot of great rewards if you use your card right. Most people don’t like them but if you can condition yourself to pay your bill off in full every month, you’ll get more than just a credit card.