Around the time you turn 18, you most likely will be flooded with credit card offers from companies who’ve already determined that you’re ready for a credit card. But how do you know if you’re ready? Well there are certain habits that can show whether you’re mature enough to handle the responsibility of a credit card.
It is really important to be honest to yourself about your spending. I’m sure all of us have gone to the store or to the mall to buy one specific item but then have come back with 5 different bags and not one containing the object we were actually looking for. Before using credit we have to admit to ourselves how much we’re able to spend and how best to use that credit. Credit cards all come with a limit, and if we can’t stick to a cash budget, then it’s going to be more difficult to stick to a credit limit since swiping a piece of plastic doesn’t feel the same as paying with cash. It’s easy to lose track of money with a credit card and so it becomes necessary to be honest about spending habits.
The next step is sticking to deadlines. If you’ve lost track of how many times you’ve accidentally forgotten a homework assignment or asked for an extension on a project, then it could be a problem if this same habit continues with your credit card with respect to making payments on time. A lot of bad things can happen when you miss even one payment. They apply a penalty fee and you might even have to pay a much higher interest rate for a few months. And, one missed payment to a lender (creditor) can stay on your credit history for seven years. Seven years! I buy a new wardrobe every 2 years, so I can’t imagine keeping something for seven.
Having credit is a huge responsibility, and it’s up to you to use it wisely. So take a closer look at your own habits before you make the decision to get a credit card. Are you the kind of person who does a lot of impulse buying or forgets deadlines a bit more often than you should? If you are, it doesn’t mean you should never get credit, but give yourself a couple of months to improve on these habits, so you can be more responsible with credit and life in general.
What habits do you have that would make you a good credit user?