Rifling through your wallet, you’re likely to find an array of cards you might use for spending on certain products. Your main debit card is likely to be for regular shopping, such as for groceries, rent and utility bills. As for more peripheral goods such as presents for the family, you might have one or two credit cards handy to help take the strain, especially at this time of year.
Taking out a credit card is something that seems almost second nature to millions of us, but what should we know about them and do they offer as much value as we’re led to believe? We look at a few popular credit card myths and debunk them for you:
Credit Card Applications Can Impact Your Credit Rating
This isn’t the least bit true, fortunately. One of the main credit agencies who determine everyone’s credit score will take note of your application, but it doesn’t change your credit worthiness, regardless of whether you’re accepted or denied a card by a lender. You can check your credit rating whenever you want; it’s a good idea to check it before applying for a credit card so you can be sure that you will be accepted. You can check your credit report with any of the major credit providers, such as Experian.
About keeping on the financial straight and narrow, a spokesperson from Yorkshire Building Society suggested: Set up a regular savings account and shop around to make sure you get the best rate. Ensure that you are on the electoral roll as this can improve your credit score. Review your day-to-day spending to see if you can make any cuts to increase your savings, then set up a budget for essentials and stick to it.
Bonuses such as Air Miles and Nectar Points which are usually on offer with selected credit cards might seem appealing, but many skeptics will say that they don’t have any financial value. Although they’re not worth a huge amount, if they build up over time, they might help you save a little money on something like a meal at a restaurant or the weekly shopping — so read the small print to be sure.
It’s Okay to Pay Back What You Can
If you don’t have enough money to meet your credit card repayments, then paying back what you’re actually able to might seem fine. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Every credit card provider asks that you pay the minimum amount stipulated in order to prevent being fined or asked to pay more than you bargained for. Not meeting it could have dire consequences for your credit rating.
Negative Credit Information Can Be Removed from Your Report
This isn’t true either. Any negative (or positive) information remains on your credit report for a period of seven years. This means that any negative stuff on your report must be given time before you’re in the clear.
Photo Credit: The Consumerist