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Young People and Credit Cards

After graduating from high school and getting a good job, it is time to start thinking about everything you need to buy to start living your life. Some of what you will purchase, you will do so with cash. Those are the small things, stuff of your daily needs. However, there will be other items that will be more costly and require much planning, concern, and excitement. These are the “big ticket items” and they are a little more expensive than your ordinary purchases. So, the question becomes, how are you going to buy these things?

Credit cards, of course!

When it comes to credit, you really must be careful. Credit used properly is one of your best tools for navigating the financial world. Used carelessly or improperly, however, it can ruin a life for as long as a lifetime. Most do not know how to use credit. Many feel as though holding a credit card is a license to buy anything you want, anytime you desire. The truth about this is: yes, and no.

The bottom line is the same as always before. If you can afford it, buy it. If not, don’t. Having a credit card merely gives you another purchase and payment option.  The mass media monster takes in too many young people with the advertising garbage they feed the public about the wonders of any particular card. If you were to listen to those marketing experts and the ads put out by the media, you could only believe you must spend money “to look and be cool.”

The problem with that is that you must make the money before you can spend the money. Too many recently graduated high school (and college) students fail to understand this important concept.

Because of questionable advertising practices, many apply for their cards and immediately go out and start spending. It is very easy to be irresponsible with credit card purchases; it is so easy to go out and buy almost anything you desire on credit terms.  That’s what the credit card companies want you to do.

The next thing the credit card companies would like to see you do is to make only the minimum payment.  What they will not tell you is that by making only the minimum payment, it will take 15 to 20 years pay off your debt. In the meantime, they collect a phenomenal amount of money from you in interest.

When it comes to using credit, just realize it is merely a tool, a tool that must be used carefully and wisely.

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