Having credit cards and lines of consumer credit can be helpful, especially when you don’t have the ability to pay for things up front. Sadly, many people either don’t understand credit, or abuse it in ways that should never be done. In order to avoid trouble with your credit over the long term, consider these five things that you should never use your credit cards for. Ultimately, you can save your credit and reduce your financial trouble by knowing when to use and when to avoid using those seemingly simple plastic cards.
1. Home Mortgage Payments
While it is vital to pay your home mortgage on time if you want to maintain a good credit rating and stay in the home you’re paying for, it isn’t a good idea to put these payments on your credit cards. Why? If you’re having to resort to credit cards to pay for your mortgage, then it might be that you are having trouble paying all of your normal bills on time. Finding yourself in a position where you can’t pay things on time will only serve to lead you into financial ruin, so if you’re resorting to credit to pay important things, sit down and take a good look at your day to day life to see where you might be able to cut some of your costs.
2. Bills for Medical Care
Avoiding finance charges is possible when it comes to medical care. For issues that are not threatening to life, saving up for procedures is often the best route to take. If you must have a test or procedure right away, consider working a payment plan out with the doctor or hospital in question, which can help you pay for the need without dealing with fees and charges that you’d have to pay your credit card company. Ultimately, this can save you hundreds and keep your credit cleaner than if you had used plastic to pay.
3. Tuition for College or School Supplies
Credit cards are nice, but it’s often easier and far cheaper to look for other options when it comes to paying for tuition and books. Getting a college degree is a great goal, and one that you should follow through on, but seek out student loans and other student friendly options rather than using your consumer credit to pay for it. Often, these other options come with positive benefits for borrowers, such as in-school deferment and lower interest rates.
4. Lottery Tickets and Overall Gambling Opportunities
Because there is never a guarantee that you will win when you gamble, using consumer credit or any money needed for the payment of daily bills is never a good idea. Ultimately, gambling away money you don’t have can only lead to quick financial ruin and lots of hardship down the road. Sure, one night of gambling or playing the lottery might be fun, but one night is never worth the months or years that you might have to spend repairing the damage done. If you have a gambling problem, and have resorted to playing with credit cards, then it might be time to reach out for some help.
5. Unsecure Online Purchases
Perhaps one of the most important places not to use credit cards or other lines of consumer credit are unsecure websites, especially if they seem to be offering a deal that looks too good to be true. Remember the old adage that says if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Ultimately, you might find that your money’s been stolen, or worse, your identity has been stolen and bills that you can never hope to pay are racked up in your name. Protect your credit cards and your identity by avoiding using your cards or even your name and address on any unsecure website.
The author of this post, Kim Hill, spends her time working with consumers of all kinds, getting them bad credit loans when they think there is no possible way that might happen. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her cats.