Getting a credit card may seem like a great idea; however, you need to ask yourself first whether owning one will simplify or complicate your life. Here are some pointers to help you make an informed decision.

Do you earn enough money or have enough room in your budget to pay back what you borrow on your credit card?

A credit card isn’t the same as extra cash. Any purchases charged to your card have to be paid for within a specific period of time, so you’ve got to make sure you have enough money to pay for whatever’s on your card.

Do you always pay your bills on time?

If you have a credit card, paying all your bills on time will guarantee a good credit report. Paying your cell phone bills on time, for example, shows that you may be ready to assume other responsibilities.

Do you have any savings?

That’s great! It means you know how to set goals and you’ll have financial resources available in the event of an emergency. You’ll have no problem handling any unexpected expenses that come up. It’s better to count on money you’ve set aside than to rely on your credit card and pay interest.

Insight

Some advice...

  • Prepare a budget so you have a snapshot of your financial situation!
  • Find out what a credit report is. Order a copy of your report so you can check to see what’s on it. Are you a person who meets all your financial obligations?
  • All it takes to build up your savings is a few dollars a month. Open a savings account and learn how you can manage your money.
End of the insight

Documentation and tools

Credit card calculator