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The Scoop on Credit Cards

By Will from Holland

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You've got big plans for the future: move away from home, buy a car, and be more independent. But have you thought about how you are going to pay for this? Do you have some money saved? Or are you planning on using credit cards to achieve your dreams? If you're thinking the credit card way, think twice. For most young people, credit cards can lead down a dangerous path, if used the wrong way.

Did you know this?

The average college senior has about 4 credit cards, but only 50% of those students have a job. So, how do these students pay their credit card bills? Many don't. At first, they may use one credit card to pay the other credit card bill. Then they just start "defaulting" on their bills. From that point on they go down a dangerous path that could eventually lead to bankruptcy.

Here's a scary fact. Bankruptcies of people 18-24 have increased 96 percent in the past year.

The Good Side

Life without a credit card can be hard. Not only do you face challenges when shopping online or accessing emergency funds, but your loan rates could suffer due to a lack of credit history. Luckily, establishing credit is easy if you keep a good relationship with your credit card!

Here are some guidelines to follow for your utmost safety:

  • First, know exactly what you're doing and act wisely when it comes to your credit. Don't be sucker punched.
  • Next, follow these hot tips for using credit cards:
    • When considering a cash advance on your credit card, be sure to know all the terms and conditions associated with them.
    • Sometimes card issuers send you "checks" in their credit card statements. As with a cash advance, make sure you know the terms and conditions associated with such checks.
    • Never use your card to "finance" purchases. Pay your statement off every month, if possible.

Cheers, Will.