Are You Ready To Handle A Credit Card?
So, kid, you want to become independent? Good! You want to get a job? Great! You want to move out on your own? Nice! You want to get a credit card? Hang on there, pal!
Now you’re talking about something serious. Yes, you need to build a credit history. But what level of responsibility is best? Credit card? Debit card? Credit Union? Before you fill out that credit application,
Take This Quiz To Get A Feel For What You Need To Know.
Each correct answer is worth 1 point: The Quiz (You will be redirected)
4 Quick Tips On Building Credit
1. Have A Job!
Obviously you need to have a way to pay your first credit card back. Just like credit cards can be used to build your credit, they can also be used to destroy it. You need to be able to be responsible from the beginning, because contrary to many internet myths, there is no way to start over with your credit score.
Your FICO score is not a FIFA game. In other words, there is no restart button on your credit score.
2. Only Use 20% Of Your Available Credit
Never never never, max out your card. This will help you avoid paying ridiculously high amounts of interest. This also prevents you from falling deep into debt.
3. Work With Credit Unions
Working with a credit union instead of Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, or Citi Bank, is usually the best idea. Credit unions are different because unlike banking institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit. That means they exist to help their members, not to make money. With that being the driving force, everything they do is handled differently. These small differences matter a lot when your financial well-being is on the line.
Credit Unions are not-for-profit.
To find a credit union in your area, visit the National Credit Union Administration’s credit union locator.
4. Keep It In Your Pants!
Stay in control of your card by not wiping it out at every chance you get. This can be done by using discipline or by leaving your card at home. Avoid pretending you are baller at the mall or at the club. The reality is you are not! You might some day be richer than Warren Buffett but for now you understand your place. Remember you can go to the mall and enjoy yourself without bring your credit cards with you. Leaving your card at home creates a buffer from spending unnecessarily.
Avoid pretending you are baller at the mall or at the club. The reality is you are not!
Maximillian Garland | Bright Futura Columnist