Get a Credit Card if You Don’t Have One
I was talking to a friend of mine recently, a single mom. She was in the process of buying her first home. She was able to make the payments and had a down payment all set, but she had not enough credit history to secure the mortgage.
She told me that the mortgage guy said she should apply for two credit cards. Wow! Silly me. I thought everyone, except the credit card addicted, had a credit card or two.
I guess if you paid cash for everything you needed you’d be a very lucky and disciplined person, but for me, using a credit card makes life way easier and it improves my credit rating.
It takes a few months for the credit companies to find out how great a lendee you are though, so if you are contemplating needing a real loan for real estate or financing college, get a credit card or two, spend a little every month. Put it into your budget and don’t forget about it. Pay it off on time or early, and your credit score should go up.
You can use a department store credit card for this, or a gasoline card or a regular old Visa or MasterCard.
Find a No Fee Credit Card
If you use Visa or MasterCard make sure to find one that doesn’t charge you a yearly fee, or has a high interest rate. Having some kind of bonus associated with it is a bonus. This could be frequent flyer miles, new car rebates, or cash back.
If you have a real problem with credit cards and run up the balance then have to pay high interest fees, this is probably not for you. Or maybe you could have a friend or a parent hold them for you so you can’t use them. Just maybe put some monthly recurring payment on it but keep the card away from you. Or not.
Tell me what your credit card strategy is.