First Credit Card

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by usapatriot, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    APR does matter. If you ignore it, you're setting yourself up for failure if perchance one month you don't pay the whole thing for whatever reason. Granted, unless it's a multi-thousand dollar purchase it's not a huge deal. But why squander money towards the CC company. Not to mention how APR's are set up can sometimes be shady too. Most interest is charged after their "grace" period X number of days after you are billed, but some it accrues before you even receive a bill. In other words, read the fine print.

    Plus pay on time (not even required in full - although do that) every month and before you know it you'll have thousands of dollars in available credit. Great for making larger purchases like electronics where you get some security from the bank should anything go wrong.

    I've racked up to $40,000 in CC debt before, but also had an income over $150k, eventually dug myself out. Long story, but just be careful, really. You can learn a lot in school, but they can't really help you manage your finances in real life. It seems simple, but not when it gets tied up with the rest of your life if and when it gets complicated. Not only live within your means, but also live within what you can manage. i.e. Carrying five credit cards and juggling them is no fun either, each with different due dates, different promotions, etc. Trust me, I speak from over 20 years of carrying credit cards and debt, not some theoretical hoo haa.
     
  2. miro_gt

    miro_gt Notebook Deity

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    ^ ouch.

    me on the other hand has never been in debt :D Even when I had to work my "behind" off to pay out of state tuition for my el.engineering degree ... with no mommy and daddy help
     
  3. ramgen

    ramgen -- Morgan Stanley --

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    Rule of thumb: "Always spend less than your income!" This guarantees that you will never ever be in debt.

    Is this so straightforward or am I a genius? :)


    --
     
  4. crash

    crash NBR Assassin

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    As others have said, the biggest things for you would be to make sure there is no annual fee and make sure you pay your card off in full each month. Think of a credit card as a substitution for cash. Or better yet, pick something that you have to pay for anyways, like gas, and make all you gas (or food or whatever) purchases on the card. That is a good starting point to establishing credit and making sure you don't buy things with it that you can't afford.

    APR rates are something to consider, but they don't vary much from bank to bank.

    Rewards are something to consider as well. Cash rewards are nice, but sometimes the "points" rewards add up to more. If you fly a lot, a card that rewards in miles might be nice. Most cards give various percentages back for different types of purchases (gas, food, etc). If you want to use your card mainly for gas purchases, then you could look for one that rewards for that the best.

    I got a credit card from Citibank when I started college and I never had any issues with it. I can recommend them, but I also know other banks are good too. As long as it's a well known bank, you should be fine.
     
  5. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    Well most people can't get a job to pay for tuition as they go. Out of state tuition at most state schools probably borders on > $15,000/year just for tuition, not to mention room and board, so you're looking at minimum $25k/year. So if you can take in a job making $40K/year work 40 hrs/wk and go to school full time, then you're both fortunate to have a decent paying job, not to mention the means to study for full time school with work.

    That's the most simplistic way to put it if you live in a bubble. Same as saying you should brush your teeth every day and never have dental problems.
     
  6. JM

    JM Mr. Misanthrope NBR Reviewer

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    May I introduce the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students.

    This was my first card, and I suggest it to any new college student. Nice rewards, low APR (after 0%, they started me off with 12%, and no annual fee.

    I'm a firm believer in this, however, I've gone down that road here and debated it many times before, so I'm not getting into it again. :p
     
  7. usapatriot

    usapatriot Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Thanks for the suggestion JM, that one looks pretty cool. I'll look a little bit more into it, I plan on making my decision by tomorrow.

    I'll only likely be making small purchases on it, such as if my debit is not accepted or just general small things to build up my credit that I will definitely pay off at the end of the month.
     
  8. DraXxus1549

    DraXxus1549 Notebook Evangelist

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    That is the card that I mentioned earlier, I should have linked to it my bad. Also I can vouch for paying off your balance each month. I left a bunch of money on mine after Chirstmas, simply because I had no interest. I kept using it afterward and began adding to the balance at one point I just had to say screw it and pay the whole thing off.

    Be careful a credit card is different than a debit card, I never had trouble spending with my debit card because I saw the money come out every time I used it. Its very easy to say hey I'll just pay this off at the end of the month. Then the end of the month roles around and you have no idea how you spent so much.
     
  9. ramgen

    ramgen -- Morgan Stanley --

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    Well, always treat your credit card as your debit card!

    Those banks are not idiots that will give out free money to everybody. Whatever you are spending on your credit card is *actually* your own ca$h. Eventually you will pay it back, one way or the other.


    --
     
  10. Tristan

    Tristan Garrosh Did Nothing Wrong

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    Has anyone ever heard of Dave Ramsey? I've started going to sessions he teaches with my family. It's all about not using credit cards and never accumulating debt. Maybe he'll address it later in the classes but I hadn't thought about emergency situations.

    Do I have to be in a university to get that citi card? I'm not there yet but will be in the next few months.
     
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