Five questions to ask yourself before getting a credit card
Signing up for a credit card for the first time can be a big decision – just don’t let it be a big mistake.
Do I need a credit card?
Many direct debit cards work in the same way as a credit card. While the process and handling of a debit card is very much the same, the obvious difference is you can only spend what you have in your account. Debit cards prevent you from overspending, can give you rewards, can be used for online shopping, overseas shopping and no interest is charged on the account.
Do I have enough income to pay off a monthly credit card balance?
For those who have very little ‘spending’ money at the end of each month, a credit card may lead to overspending. While it might feel good to spoil yourself, you could eventually pay for it. If you can’t afford to pay your balance in full by the due date, you will be charged interest and if you don’t pay the minimum amount in time you could incur a bad credit card history.
What fees are involved?
Credit cards usually come with a bundle of fees in the fine print. An annual fee, interest rate, foreign currency conversion fee, ATM fees and late payment fees are just some of the common charges. Make sure you are aware of the fees involved in the terms and conditions before accepting a credit card offer.
How can my credit history affect future banking?
The first thing a bank wants to know before offering you money is your credit history. If you have been missing repayments or maxing out your credit card limit, there is a good chance your application for a future loan or credit card could be rejected. Being responsible about your credit card history and score critical for your financial future.
What are the benefits?
Different credit cards offer different rewards, so it’s worth doing a little research. While some features and benefits come with a higher interest rate, there are some cards which offer rewards you can really use. These include:
- Reward programs (points can be spent on flights or vouchers).
- Travel insurance.
- Concierge services.
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by interest rates and the number of credit cards available, you can really save a lot of money if you find the right card for you and your lifestyle.
Credit card tips
- Pay money onto your card regularly.
- When you’ve got a little extra, pay more than the minimum due amount.
- Pay your balance in full by the due date.
- Choose a card with interest free periods so you can avoid interest altogether.
- Try to avoid cash advances and going over your credit card limit.
- Transfer your balance to a card with 0% p.a. so you can get back into the black.
We’ve got lending specialists who can help you choose the best credit card for your lifestyle. If you need a little help on meeting your payments you can chat to us 24/7 and we’ll help you get the most out of your life in Queensland. Call us on 13 1905, anytime.