In the market for your first credit card? Congratulations! It's a big personal finance step. Along with a shiny new plastic card come many responsibilities, so it's critical that borrowers understand them to avoid overspending and having to deal with the consequences that come with credit card debt.
Here are three important need-to-know pieces of info for you credit newbies out there.
Money Doesn't Grow on Trees
There's no such thing as a free lunch! Understanding that credit doesn't equal free money and that purchases eventually need to be paid for is often difficult for many first-time credit card users to realize. But knowing this before you start using a new card is a valuable takeaway for those new to credit.
One Late Payment Can Hurt You
Your credit payment history is one of the most important things lenders look at when you're applying for a loan and one of the most heavily weighted elements of your credit score. Just one late payment in your credit history could affect you when applying for a car loan or mortgage in the future. When you do get a card, keep your monthly due date top of mind and try to pay your balance off in full each month.
Look at All of Your Options
There are many credit cards out there, so it's important to shop around and look at all of your options before committing. If you're a credit newbie trying to build your credit, look at secured cards. Interested in a card with great rewards? Evaluate airline miles or cash back cards.
If you have more questions about credit, don't hesitate to stop into your local North Country Savings Bank to chat with a representative.