Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thoughts on Credit

Credit cards can be a life saver, when used wisely. Conversely, they can chain you to debt when used unwisely. The best credit cards, obviously, are the ones with the lowest interest rates, so you'll want to shop around and compare credit cards if you're in the market for one.

It's easy to be sucked in by cash back credit cards, but be careful. The cash back is only a reward if it is not actually costing you more money in the long run. (i.e., Are you paying more in interest than you're getting back?) If you can pay off your credit card each month, I'd say go for it. Otherwise, remember, you're not really gaining anything.

I have not always had a lot of extra money in savings for an emergency or last minute opportunity. Credit cards have helped me immensely in these situations. The best thing I have done is to use a credit card and then switch it on a 0% balance transfer, thus saving myself a lot of money in the long run. If you pay your bills and maintain good credit, these types of opportunities can really be helpful. Just remember to try to pay them off as soon as possible!

Good luck!


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