Credit cards are the most popular form of debt: More than 90% of U.S. adults have a credit card account listed in their credit report, Per Experian 2020 Consumer Review. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/consumer-credit-review/
On average, consumers have 3.1 credit cards, according to 2017 data from the credit bureau Experian. But credit cards aren’t for everyone. While life without credit cards poses some challenges, it might not be as difficult as you think. Owning a credit card is a personal choice. Here are some pros (advantages) and con (disadvantages) to help you make an informed decision.
Evaluate the type of habits you currently have to determine if a credit card is more positive or more negative for you. Below are my personal thoughts on the Pros and Cons of owning and using a credit card.
Builds Credit- by providing a history of how much money you borrow and how timely you pay your credit will support how well your credit score is.
Points/Rewards –you can earn rewards that translate to travel, hotel or gift cards based on how much you use your card. Comment below which ones you use with the best points.
Borrow ‘free’ money – if your card doesn’t have an annual fee and you pay off your balance every month..you have successfully borrowed free money (generalization but see your terms on actual cost as it may vary from card to card)
Security: If someone steals your card you can get the money back vs if someone steals cash …well you know.
Plan C emergency fund – provides a temporary cushion in case your emergency fund is not enough. Notice I didn’t say Plan B. You really want to save this option as a last resort. To calculate your estimated Emergency Plan Needs, download this spreadsheet!
LifeStyle Creep: May lead to you buying things you can’t afford. You don’t visually see and
physically touch the bills in your wallet, so money can be spent very quickly
High Interest– if you don’t pay it off at the end every month,
Fees can add up – fees that increase if you don’t pay on time
May end up paying significantly more than what your original purchase was due to the compounding interest.