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Advantages of Credit

If you are like me and most of the population, you most probably had a thought or two about getting a credit card for those much needed items, that special card which helps you out in times when cash is low and needs are high. I bet you have also heard the stories and horrors about high interest and accumulating debt. But having a credit card can be very advantageous, if used responsibility, and they have a few advantages over other payment options used like cash, internet banking or even a cheque.

The first benefit of a credit card is surely the increased security it offers, much more so than cash. It is much safer to carry a credit card around in your wallet, than it is carry a load of cash. Should anyone grab your purse or should you lose your credit card, you can simply phone your credit card company, which will freeze the account for you immediately, so no unwanted purchases can be made on your credit card. But should you lose your cash, it is surely lost forever.

Didn’t bargain on that nagging toothache turning into a root canal, and surely didn’t budget for the costly trip to the dentist? A credit card seems to be your best friend in such times. With a debit card or cheque, you need sufficient funds in your account to be able to make a purchase, which most of us just do not have, but with a credit card you have a period where you can relax before making your next payment, allowing you to sleep better at night, (without toothache!).

Having a credit card is great for teaching yourself and even your young adult children about the responsibilities of finance and managing your funds. By paying your credit card debt off as soon as possible, you won’t be charged any additional interest in the purchases you have made and required. When you have mastered the art of making regular payments on your smaller purchases, only then should you move on to bigger more lavish purchases. Ensure before you make these purchases that you can afford the monthly interest free payments. By proving you are capable of handling your finances in a responsible way, banks are also often more lenient on granting a loan should the day come when you require one. When banks see you have a good credit history of paying back loans on time and making regular payments on your credit card, this reflects very well on your credit history at the credit bureau. Having a credit card and making good on the payments each month, increases your credit rating, which is probably the most important kind of rating you would want to have in your life!

You will however need to exercise some willpower when you walk past those designer jeans, the travel agency advertising that beautiful trip to Madagascar. And if you can manage that, go ahead; take your better half for that lavish dinner you both deserve for being so responsible financially!

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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