Everywhere we go, the word credit can be found, shining huge dollar signs in front of our very eyes. Everyday we receive solicitation and promotions offering us credit. Credit actually makes the financial world go round, yet just the mere mention of the word can make many people very nervous. So why does credit get such a bad reputation?
It's been my experience that credit falls into the same category as politics and religion. People have very strong opinions about Credit. It has been around since the beginning of mankind. People would borrow either goods or services, to be repaid at a later date with interest. There's nothing wrong with that. And like anything else, it can be used, or abused.
There are programs that allow you to borrow from your IRA, or you can borrow from the equity that had built up in your home. Credit card companies often offer promotions to borrow money at a lowered rate of interest for a predetermined period. It's all good news for the consumer. One of the simplest ways to borrow money to use a Credit Card. The choices available are plentiful, with a variety of interest charges, annual fees, loyalty programs, and reward systems.
Many companies offer 6 months no interest credit. This is often an excellent way of saving money as you are basically given an interest free loan for those months. It's even more valuable if you are able to transfer some of the card debt from a different company into the interest free loan. The best advice is to make sure you always have the money in the bank, or in a savings account, to pay off your card when you are taking advantage of the interest free promotion.
That way you benefit from earning interest on your savings at your bank, but as soon as the interest free credit period has ended, you can pay the entire bill off without being hit for high interest charges. If you intend to pay off you credit card bill at the end of every month, there are many benefit programs and reward packages available.
You can receive award points every time you make a purchase with that card. These points can be redeemed in cash or discounts, and can even be used for the purchase of airline miles, etc. Some companies offer a consumer guarantee protection on items purchased with the card, and many will extend the warranties on those items. Many offer discounts such as car rentals, travel insurance, accidental damage insurance for any products you buy.
Also some companies charge an annual fee for using their card (especially business credit card accounts), so these should be considered against the cards benefits. If you are not paying off your monthly credit card bills, look for a card that offers a low interest. If you are paying off your monthly credit card bills, look for additional card benefits. Interest free credit periods are good news for saving money. Credit Cards are an effective, and easy way to borrow money for a short time. Be wise and prudent when deciding to use credit. The bottom line is the credit card companies want your business, and there is a credit card out there that can meet everyone's needs.
The author has been on both sides of the “credit" table. Through her experience she has been able to teach thousands of people about how to use credit responsibly.
Cecily Backstrom is passionate about credit and is the webmaster of Rapidly Moving Credit