Q: I have no credit card because I got into financial trouble a few years ago. I am starting to rebuild my credit and I am interested in applying for a credit card.
I am scared of making that decision. I do get mailings from a card company asking me to sign up. I’m completing grad school in a few months. Any advice?
A: I understand that you may be leery of getting a credit card because of your troubled financial past. But you needn’t view credit as something toxic or dangerous, as long as you’re willing to manage credit wisely.
The problem with credit cards isn’t the cards themselves. It’s our own lack of financial literacy when it come to using them. As a result, most people tend to abuse, rather than properly use, credit cards.
To get yourself started off right this time, don’t accept the first credit card offer that comes your way. I don’t care how many times that credit card company has mailed you an offer, if the credit card they’re offering doesn’t measure up, you’d be wise to pass on that deal.
Check out a site like Creditcards.com where you can educate yourself about various types of credit cards. There are credit cards to fit virtually every profile: including cards for those with bad credit, cards for students like yourself, and even cards for getting good travel deals or cash-back offers.
At Creditcards.com, you’ll be able to read reviews of credit cards, see what the going interest rate is on different types of cards and even apply for the card that best fits your needs.
Once you do get a credit card, make sure you do the single most important thing with it: pay your monthly bill on time. Don’t use it unnecessarily. Just charge modest amounts that you can pay off each month and that will help you to build a strong credit rating. Good luck!