Somewhere along the line, credit became less about helping people buy the things they need and all about helping people buy the things they want. Over time, wants, desires, and cravings overpowered people’s reasoning and logic, and most of the world ended up drowning in debt.
This is the story of how people abused the power of credit cards, making them seem like the world’s greatest evil. However, credit cards are not evil! While they may not be a necessity, having just one card can greatly help your credit score and overall financial well-being.
Here are six reasons you need a credit card today.
1. It builds credit.
If you are against all other reasons… this reason stands alone. A credit card helps you build credit, especially when you are young. Having a credit card can help fix a bad score, as well as help create a score if you have no credit whatsoever. There really is no easier way.
2. It’s the cheapest way to build credit.
Think about it. If you use your credit card responsibly and always pay off your balance, you will NEVER pay interest. This is a cheaper alternative to building credit than taking out a car or student loan, which you’ll almost always pay interest on.
3. It’s the quickest way to build credit.
Credit cards build credit fast. Apply for a couple, start spending money, and you’ll have some kind of credit history in just a couple of months. It’s fast and efficient.
4. It provides a safety net.
If you’re in credit card debt, you know it can feel like everything BUT safety. However, if you’re smart about your usage, a credit card can be your safety net if an emergency arises. If your emergency fund is low, a credit card can make for a great cushion and add a little peace of mind about future mishaps.
5. It teaches you about the power of compound interest.
If you don’t know what compound interest is, I suggest you read this article. There’s no better way to learn about how compound interest can for against you than to have a credit card. Credit cards are notorious for having high interest rates, and the first time you ever carry a balance past the first month, you’ll see how horrible it can be on your finances. It will give you a real look into how compounding interest can affect not only your credit cards, but also student, auto, and home loans.
It’s a great learning experience for a beginner.
6. It’s safer to use than a debit card.
With all the fraud and security hacks we experience these days, using a debit card has become super risky, even at large retailers we may consider “invincible.” Credit card companies offer far more fraud protection than banks do for debit cards, plus it’s much easier to track. If money is pulled out of a credit card account, it’s easier for a company to stop the transaction, as well as re-credit your account. However, if someone steals your debit card information, that’s your cold hard cash leaving. How will you pay your bills? This is why using a credit card can be safer, if you have the money to pay it off every month.
Do you agree? Do you feel like having a credit card is a worthwhile cause?