Getting your first credit card can be an exciting moment. Knowing that if you use it responsibly, you can help build good future credit. This is an advantage to have when looking to buy a house. Many people across the states apply for their first credit card, some even their second or third.
By the end of 2020, reports showed that there were 365 million open card accounts in the US. In addition, the average household’s credit balance was slightly over $5,300. More credit card statistics show that there has also been a rise in the number of Americans getting a credit card.
Each individual will have reasons for applying for and obtaining a credit card. These are some of the most common reasons.
- Build Good Credit Score – Having a good credit score report can help you when you decide you want to climb the property ladder. Alternatively, a good credit score can also be an advantage if you want to buy a car. Showing a good credit score can help you get the best rates on either investment.
- Help Protect Your Money – Losing your wallet is a fear many have. If we lose it, it is unlikely that we will never see any of the money that might have been inside again. With a credit card, if in the unfortunate event that you do lose it, you will not be liable for any money that was spent after losing it. This is under the circumstances that you were careful with your card. Ensure that you report the card missing as soon as you realize it is lost. The only way that you will have to pay for any transactions made after losing your card is if your credit card company can prove that you were negligent.
- Offers Peace Of Mind – Credit cards can be incredibly useful when a purchase is faulty. Credit card providers offer their customers free additional consumer protection. This can act as a safety net when a purchase for an item is not delivered, is faulty or isn’t what was described. When this occurs, those who paid with their credit card can turn to their provider for financial compensation.
What You Should Know Before Applying
Many advantages come with having a credit card in your name. As mentioned, everyone has their reasons for applying for a credit card. If you have reasons for wanting a credit card, here are a few things you should know before applying.
Understand How They Work
It might seem like an obvious factor, but you must have a great understanding of how credit cards work. There have been instances throughout the years where some have not fully understood how it works and has faced costly consequences.
With a credit card, you can borrow money to make a purchase under an agreement between you and your credit card provider. Within the agreement, it will be stated that you must pay the amount borrowed by a specified time. Borrowing and paying back on time or early can help a person build good credit. When it comes to buying a house or a card, businesses will see your good credit score and ability to pay when needed. It increases the chances of being approved.
Paying Credit Card Bills
To experience the benefits of a credit card, you need to ensure that you can pay your credit card bills on time. One of the best ways to ensure that you remain in control of your credit card spending and usage is by paying off the owed balance in full each month after receiving your bill.
Another factor to consider is when is the best time to pay off a credit card bill. You might consider reading this guide about the best time to pay a credit card from Tally. It provides useful information that can prove valuable when setting plans for paying off your credit card bills.
Compare The Rates And Fees
Each credit card provider must disclose certain terms publicly before applying for approval. These terms can include their interest rates and fees, which are crucial information when applying for a credit card. One of the reasons to check the rates and fees between providers is to find the most suited option for you.
Another thing to remember is that you will likely get more information about applying and being approved. Some of this information can include the credit card limit that you will have.
Keep Your Credit Score In Mind
A popular reason many Americans apply for their first credit card is to help them build their credit score. If this is the reason you are also applying, you must consider your credit score when using your credit card to make purchases.
Remind yourself why you have a credit card and use it to make purchases for things that you know you can pay back when the time comes. When the monthly credit card bill is due, ensure you have the funds available to cover the costs. This will help you maintain the positive credit score report you have been trying to improve.
Avoid Late Payments
Many often ask what happens if they pay their credit card bills late or do not pay them at all. The result of late or no payment can impact your credit report – one that could last for several years. Delayed or no credit card bill payment can hinder your chances of getting a mortgage or an apartment in the future.
The longer payment is delayed, the severity of actions taken by your credit card provider increases. It could be an increase in what you owe to a debt collector sent to collect payment. All of this can be avoided by paying on time and in full.
Weigh Out the Pros And Cons
A credit card is not for everyone. Those who already struggle with paying bills or are trying to get out of debt might be more likely to not be approved by a credit card provider. Before applying, ensure that you have spent time weighing out the pros and cons of a credit card. Seeing these will help you make an informed decision about applying. You will have a better understanding of what to expect after you have been approved and have received your first credit card.
What To Do If Application Is Refused
Just because you apply for a credit card does not guarantee approval. Credit card providers are not obligated to approve all applications they receive. Prepare yourself that there might be a chance that your application is unsuccessful. A common reason for an application not being approved is that your credit score is too low or that the providers believe you are a risk and might not pay what you owe.
The Bottom Line
There you have it, essential factors you should know before applying for a credit card. Keeping these in mind will help you make an informed decision about applying for a credit card and whether it is the right option.
With one, you could help to boost your credit score if you can pay bills on time and avoid being in debt. The best way to take advantage of your credit card is by ensuring that you can meet the agreements set by your credit card provider. In doing so, you can reap the benefits of having and using a credit card.