Credit Card | Getting a credit card can open up many doors for an individual. A first credit card puts a person on the path to purchasing a new car, buying a first home, and even obtaining a loan for other large purposes. However, there are lessons to learn when getting a first credit card. Successful credit management is key to maintaining a good credit history.

Understand the Interest Rate
Almost all credit cards will have an interest rate associated with them. An interest rate means that a person will have to pay money in addition to the actual cost of the purchase. A higher interest rate means more money that will have to be paid. Also, many credit cards will increase the interest rate if a person misses a payment or is late on the payment. Therefore, the first thing to understand with a first credit card is the interest rate.

Live Within Means
Many people look at credit cards as free money; however, this is not the case. Before getting a credit card, a person must understand credit management. Nothing is free, and this includes credit cards. It is important to not purchase an expensive item if one cannot afford to pay it off at the end of the billing cycle. If the purchase is not paid completely off, it may take a person years to finally pay off their credit card debt.

Watch for Introductory Offers
In order to entice people to get a credit card, a lot of companies offer special introductory offers. This may include no interest for a year or getting cash back after a certain amount is spent during the first few months. Once again, the rule of thumb is for a person to only charge an amount that can be paid off at the end of the billing cycle.

In order to build credit, credit cards are great to have. If used wisely and responsibly, these small pieces of plastic can prove to be very beneficial.

Credit Care Counseling offers a five-year credit consolidation program that will give you a chance to improve your credit score and make more sound financial decisions. For further information about our debt management program, call us at 813-616-5234.