Managing New Credit: How to Choose and Apply for the Right Credit Card for You

January 14, 2019 by Susan Paige

The management of credit cards is something that mature and responsible adults need to know how to do. Credit cards make life easier, as no one wants to go around carrying large sums of cash. At the same time, the misuse of a credit card, or many cards, is something that can lead to trouble quickly. You do not want to get buried in credit card debt, as it can make your life miserable very rapidly. Let’s look at how you can choose and apply for credit cards, and what you should do when you have them.

Which Card is Ideal for Your Purposes?

When deciding what card seems right for you, you can read this site and others like it that compare and contrast various card features. There are thousands of different credit cards, some of which allow you to get cash back on certain purchases, or all of them. Others give you extra travel miles on airlines like Delta and United. Some cards give you other sorts of travel points that can be used for vacations, or you can opt for one that gives you rewards for gas and groceries. You will have to consider which of these features is most important to you.

Applying for the Card

There are some card offers that come in the mail, indicating that you have been pre-approved. However, just because you know that you qualify for a card, it does not mean that you have to take it. If you feel that you have enough credit cards already, or you don’t like the sound of the terms being offered for the one in question, you can ignore the offer. Instead, it’s better to compare and contrast the various cards for which you are eligible when you decide that you need a new one. If you’re already in debt, then it’s probably not the best time to take on some new credit cards. You should wait until you’re in the clear again.

Once You have the Card

When the new card is in your possession, you shouldn’t immediately go on a spending spree. Instead, you should use it when it seems prudent to do so, and you should always try to pay off the balance every month, rather than just a portion of it. If you carry the balance from month to month, then you are paying interest on it, and that amounts to getting nothing back for your money. It’s not a way that you can accrue any savings, and that is something that everyone should try to do in anticipation of their eventual retirement.

Having and using credit cards responsibly is one of the things that everyone should learn how to do, but it takes discipline. If you feel like you can’t be trusted to have multiple cards and not get yourself into debt with them, then you might get a card in your name and have someone else in the family hold onto it for you. You can then instruct them only to let you have the card in the event of an emergency. Fiscal responsibility can be a challenge for some people, but it is a lesson that must be learned at some juncture.

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