The 3 Evil Things High School Didn’t Teach You about Credit Cards
Credit cards seem like the perfect thing to get when you turn 18. They give you access to more money than you make and can help you to keep up with what everyone else is doing. But before you buckle down and spend thousands of dollars on credit cards thinking you know it all, thanks to what you heard around the high school, prepare to be shocked. Here are three evil things you will wish you learned in school. Like credit card debt.
1. Credit Cards are Almost Never Worth It
Yes, they can give you instant money without having to beg your parents. But that $15 CD, $50 video game and $300 in gas has to be repaid at some point. While you initially had the funds to pick them up, you end up paying hundreds of dollars for those items over the course of a year. Plus, the higher your debt goes, the more you’ll end up spending on interest and before long, waiting the extra week until you got paid and were able to pay for the item in full, would have been worth it. Unless of course, you have a medical emergency that you’ll need to use the credit for.
2. Credit Cards Can Ruin Your Credit In Just a Few Months For 7 Years
Don’t want to pay your credit card bill? Think ignoring it until the following month or until they stop letting you use your card is fine? You’re setting yourself up for some heartache. Before long, you’ll be paying higher interest rates on your credit card debt, have a credit score that prevents you from getting a mortgage or a car loan and you’ll find out just how hard the world can be.
3. Owing is Easy, Repaying is Hard
Racking up the bills won’t stress you out, until your find your minimum monthly payment is more than an entire paycheck. Perhaps worse, is the fact that eventually, you’ll begin to get phone calls from your lender at the most inopportune times to discuss payment. Telling them that you plan on making a payment soon isn’t enough, or that you’ll catch up later with them. Credit card companies are in it for the money and they will take you to court if they aren’t getting the money you owe them, or sell your account to collections where a shady collector can make your life a nightmare.
That doesn’t mean you should just toss in the towel for credit cards. Instead, be proactive when you need to. When it is a necessity for life and you can’t wait to use it, like food or medication use the credit card. When it is a want like going to a movie, buying a cup of coffee or buying a video game, wait until you have the cash. That way, you aren’t spending a fortune on things you don’t really need.