Credit Card is Not Your Ticket to Financial Freedom

I am not surprise to see so many children and teens equate credit cards with financial freedom. Think about it. They see their parents buy all kind of things with credit cards, but how many actually see their parents pay these credit card bills at the end of the month? Or worse, how much their parents owe and how much interest they are paying month after month! As a result, some of them believe they can buy whatever they want with credit cards.

credit-cards

On the other side are people who used credit cards and got hurt. They swear that these little plastic devils are one-way tickets to financial hell, and now refuse to use them. I do respect their decision to stay away from credit cards. Unfortunately, this is like avoiding power tools because they are more dangerous.

A Powerful Financial Tool

Credit cards will not help you achieve financial freedom, nor will they send you to financial hell. A credit card is simply a financial tool that must be used with care. There are pluses and minuses to consider, and when used responsibly credit cards can make your life easier.

Benefits of Using Credit Cards

  • You can use credit cards at more places — e.g., online purchases, etc.
  • Certain things just work better with credit cards — e.g., automatic bill payments, etc.
  • You get to enjoy cash back bonuses and reward points that certain credit cards offer.
  • It’s easier for you to keep track of your purchases.
  • It’s safer than carrying around cash.
  • You are better protected against fraudulent purchases and you can often get your money back.

Additionally, there are other benefits depending on the specific card that you use.

A Few Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Credit Cards

  • You could end up with credit card debt.
  • If you do not pay your balances in full, you could end up paying a lot of finance charges.
  • You could be hit with expensive fees — e.g., late fees, annual fees, etc.
  • You could spend more by using a credit card instead of cash.
  • Irresponsible use of credit cards could wreck your credit scores.

Whether you choose to use credit cards or not, it’s up to you. The important thing is to never equate credit cards with financial freedom.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author

By , on May 8, 2013
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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{3 Comments}

  1. Too true. I’m glad to say that my parents never let me have a credit card linked to any of their accounts, as many of my friends did.

  2. We, like Michelle, use them to gain points and track purchases, but we didn’t start doing that until AFTER we got hold of our frivolous spending and learned to stick to a budget. Otherwise, they’re just much too risky.

  3. Michelle says:

    We use credit cards because it’s easier to track our purchases and because we love reward points 🙂

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