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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Metroid » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:03 pm

I have 2 credit cards...had em for over 15 years, and I don't have any credit card debt. We have a mortgage and I've taken some loans out for school, but other than that we have no debt. Owning credit cards doesn't put you into debt if you are responsible with them. And like Sluggo said, debt isn't necessarily bad. "Debt" is why I have the fantastic home I live in and "debt" is why I'm going to have an education and hopefully a good career.

The idea of living "debt free" is a great idea...good luck succeeding at that. Not many people have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around to buy a car or a house or pay for school.

Another note: life is expensive and not everyone is rich.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby pjalst » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Get an American Express(charge Card) and a Visa or Mastercard. You're no going to build credit if you don't use them. Like someone mentioned earlier, always pay them off each month. If for some reason you have an emergency and have to use the card for a big payment, ALWAYS payback at least twice the minimum payment if not more. Paying only the minimum payment will put you in a big hole.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby bleach168 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:34 pm

Avoid those id theft protection add-ons. Total rip off.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby StlSluggers » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:51 pm

bleach168 wrote:Avoid those id theft protection add-ons. Total rip off.

Unless you're verrry disciplined. I don't know if they do it now, but a couple years ago, I made maybe $80 signing up for - and then canceling - those extra features.

:-)
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby bigh0rt » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:53 pm

StlSluggers wrote:
bleach168 wrote:Avoid those id theft protection add-ons. Total rip off.

Unless you're verrry disciplined. I don't know if they do it now, but a couple years ago, I made maybe $80 signing up for - and then canceling - those extra features.

:-)

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby StlSluggers » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:54 pm

bigh0rt wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:
bleach168 wrote:Avoid those id theft protection add-ons. Total rip off.

Unless you're verrry disciplined. I don't know if they do it now, but a couple years ago, I made maybe $80 signing up for - and then canceling - those extra features.

:-)

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Right. I told them I knew you, got a discount, and then dropped out of the program asap. ;-D
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Good advice in this thread.

What I'll add is that if you can pay it in cash, then you should. My rule of thumb is for things like groceries that amount to $40 or less or lunch for $10-15 (presuming they take credit cards), I prefer to pay cash. If say, you're treating 4 of your friends to a nice restaurant ($50 or over), then use your credit card, as long as it's within your means to pay in full the next month. I remember when I got my first AMEX, I spent $700 on the trot with no interest, but had to pay it in full the next month and if I didn't have enough to cover, I would have freaked out.

In your case, paying off small expenses with a card is fine to build credit. If you're splurging a bit, need to buy a big ticket item (i.e. laptop), or have to spend it on emergency, make sure you can cover minimum payments with that card. Then, in due time, if you've saved a bit, keep paying more than the minimum payment so that you don't get hit hard by the interest, no matter how low/high it is.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby kab21 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:07 pm

woodson_28 wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:2. Don't use it.


This. I suggest grabbing the books "Total Money Makeover" or "Financial Peace University" (both by Dave Ramsey) before you get yourself into to credit card debt. Both can be found at your local library and checked out for free. And both deal with the idea of living "debt free".


Credit cards don't equal debt. it's only when you use them to buy stuff you can't afford.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:16 pm

kab21 wrote:
woodson_28 wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:2. Don't use it.


This. I suggest grabbing the books "Total Money Makeover" or "Financial Peace University" (both by Dave Ramsey) before you get yourself into to credit card debt. Both can be found at your local library and checked out for free. And both deal with the idea of living "debt free".


Credit cards don't equal debt. it's only when you use them to buy stuff you can't afford.


Ah, having a balance means debt. Buying things you couldn't really afford in the first place is what I'd call being "in debt". It's fine to have debt as long as you can keep it manageable.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby StlSluggers » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Does using the credit card actually matter in your credit score?

I thought the things that mattered were:

1. Debt-to-asset, where debt is calculated by total available credit
2. Utilization ratio, calculated as outstanding balance divided by available balance
2. Time since last delinquency
3. Time with the company

With respect to #2, you might get less of a positive uptick for not having any balance, but you'll still get the other benefits.
I'm pretty sure that just taking out a card and letting it sit there is a perfectly fine strategy (ceteris paribus).
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