Three Common Credit Card Fears and How to Get Over Them
By Erin Palmer for Suncoast Credit Union
What do spiders, heights and credit cards have in common? They’re all things that some people fear. Though we can’t help you with tall buildings or creepy crawlies, we can teach you how to get over some common credit card fears.
Fear No. 1: Messing Up Your Credit
Credit scores are important when you buy a car, apply for a mortgage or rent a home. So many crucial areas of your life can be impacted by your credit score, even the price of your cell phone or insurance plan.
Since credit scores are such a big deal, it’s no wonder that people sometimes worry about them. Luckily, there’s an easy solution.
How to Get Over It: Responsible Spending
No need to fear! As long as you’re being responsible with your credit card, it shouldn’t negatively impact your credit. When you use a credit card the right way, you can actually improve your credit over time!
Make sure that you aren’t using your credit card to spend beyond your means. Always pay your bills on time and don’t max out your card.
If you follow credit card best practices, you can help build your credit. So be smart with your credit card and your credit score will thank you.
Fear No. 2: Confusing Terms and Conditions
Have you ever gotten a credit card offer that looks awesome, and then later found yourself facing unexpected fees or costs? It’s not a good feeling, for sure.
Sometimes when faced with confusing terms and conditions on a credit card application, it’s tempting to just skim through it. We have a better idea.
How to Get Over It: Read the Fine Print
Before you apply for anything, you should always know what you’re signing up for. Read the fine print. Take note of things like annual fees, annual percentage rates (APR) and offers where the interest rates change over time.
Be informed so you can make the best decision. The best way to combat confusion is by making sure you understand the specifics of the offer before you apply. If you still don’t understand after you read the details, ask questions!
Fear No. 3: High Interest Rates
When you’re on a budget, high interest rates can be very scary! It can be especially tough if you have a high interest rate credit card with a large balance.
High interest rates can cost you money over time, but there’s an easy way to avoid them.
How to Get Over It: Be Selective with your Credit Cards
All you have to do is be selective with the credit cards you choose. Don’t apply for every offer that comes your way. Look for credit cards with competitive interest rates and minimal fees.
Sometimes you may be in a situation where higher interest rate cards were the only ones you could get approved for, perhaps after a period of financial difficulty. If you already have a high interest rate credit card, keep an eye out for opportunities to transfer your credit card balance to a new credit card with a lower rate.
Face those credit card fears with smart financial decisions. Be Money Wise.