As you transition into adulthood, you’ll encounter various pieces of advice, some good and some not-so-great. One common piece of advice is, “Now that you’re an adult, you need to start establishing credit!” This is often followed by the recommendation to get a credit card. But before you rush to heed this counsel, let’s take a closer look at the world of credit and why it’s essential to approach it with caution.
Understanding Credit Cards
A few years ago, I worked at a credit card company’s call center, and I saw countless people calling in for various issues. Whether they missed a due date by just a day or overspent on their card, they all faced hefty penalties. Getting a credit card to establish credit can sometimes feel like getting a tattoo to prove you’re a man. It’s not that credit cards or tattoos are inherently bad; there are simply better ways to achieve the same goals.
Patience is Key
When it comes to building good credit, patience is your best friend. Creditworthiness is established over time, which is often referred to as your credit history. Resist the urge to rush out and buy something on credit simply because you can. In fact, many financial experts, including those with Christian financial wisdom, will tell you that if you manage your finances properly, there’s very little need for credit.
Instead of diving into the credit scene headfirst, consider spending time in the world of savings. Setting aside even a small amount of money each week in a dedicated savings account will take you much further on the path to financial security than carrying debt on a credit card.
For those looking for practical advice on managing money, building credit, and even finding part-time work while pursuing your education, I highly recommend the book “The Graduate’s Survival Guide” by Rachel Cruze. This resource offers valuable tips that will help you make informed financial decisions.
Don’t succumb to the pressure of obtaining a credit card solely for the purpose of “establishing credit.” There are numerous ways to build good credit, and we’ll cover some of those alternatives in our future articles.
If you have any questions or need guidance, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to connect you with valuable resources that will empower you to make sound financial choices. After all, financial security is a crucial part of your journey into adulthood, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.