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Should you get a credit card?

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Last Updated on by Noni May

Thinking about getting a credit card? Whilst credit cards can have their advantages, they can also come with dangers for those with bad spending habits. Here are some of the things you should consider before you get a credit card.

It’s an easy way to borrow money

When you’ve run out of funds and you need to borrow money, having a credit card can be handy – rather than having to go through the lengthy process of applying for a loan you can borrow the money you need with the swipe of a card. A credit card could make it easier to pay for emergencies, but it could also tempt you into spending money on things you don’t need. It all comes down to how much you can trust yourself – flashing the plastic too much could get you into a lot of debt, which you could struggle to pay back.

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Interest rates can vary

Few credit cards have fixed interest rates and those that do usually only offer this for a limited time. This means that you have to stay aware of changing interest rates. There are cards out there that can have 0% APR for the first year – these can be some of the best for saving money on interest. Just remember that these interest rates could go up after a year.

You can repair your credit score (or you can destroy it!)

Credit cards can be used to repair you credit score. There are guides online that can teach you how to build credit with a credit card fast through a combination of good spending and paying your credit card bills on time. Of course, if you fail to pay your credit card bills on time, you could end up lowering your credit score. In fact, it’s one of the fastest ways to reduce your score.

You can save money with rewards

Many credit cards will offer rewards for good spending that could allow you discounts on purchases. Whilst these can be worth taking advantage of, they shouldn’t be your sole reason for buying a credit card. With the added cost of interest charges, few people actually make a profit from these rewards – those that do make a profit often use credit cards in a calculated way and may switch cards multiple times to take advantage of different offers.

Your purchases are protected

Credit card often offer more protection than debit cards. If you’ve been scammed or bought a faulty product using a credit card, your credit card provider will usually refund you if you’re able to give proof. As a result, credit cards can almost act as a form of insurance. Many people use them when travelling in order to keep their finances protected. It’s worth always reading the small print as some cards don’t offer this protection or may offer limited protection.  

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