Credit Cards Are Not Evil!
This may surprise you, but I carry a credit card. I never fail to pay off my balance at the end of the month, and I never pay late fees. For that, Ann and I take advantage of the convenience the card allows, earn airline miles, and enjoy 30 days of interest-free money. I have been asked, “Why do you endorse credit cards? I was taught that they are evil and we should cut them up in little pieces!”
Credit cards are a form of currency. It is true that there are horror stories of unsuspecting folks who get trapped in a cycle of debt that is nearly impossible to escape. The problem is not the card; the problem is using one if you are ignorant of the contract you have signed or if you lack self-control. If either or both of those conditions are challenges you face, don’t use a credit card; use cash only.
However, 53 percent of folks 30 years or older who carry a credit card pay off their balance in full each month. That means millions of people are likely doing exactly what I do—enjoying the free loan, gaining rewards, and using their card responsibly.
Here’s my advice.
* Carry only 1 credit card. Pick a card with an excellent rewards program.
* Never ever charge an amount on your credit card greater than what you will be able to pay off in full at the end of the month.
* If you ever fail to pay off the balance, stop using the credit card until you do!
* Don’t consider your credit card a fall back for emergencies. Save cash for emergencies. This way, you will stay out of credit card traps.