If you recall I wrote a post way back when on how I was able to live life without using credit cards. It was actually pretty simple if I lived within my means and made sure I saved money for emergencies. I had gotten myself in big trouble by not being responsible with my credit card usage and I promised I would never do that again.
For a few years I swore off credit cards completely until I ran into one little problem. I’m lying because it wasn’t a little problem; it was a big problem because I wanted to buy a house. The problem was I didn’t have any credit. When I stopped using credit cards, I closed the accounts when I paid off the balance so it was hurting my payment history. It was a safety net that I had put in place that hurt me in the long run. I had no car loan and nothing in my name, but my student loans. 15% of your credit score is the length of your credit history and 35% is your payment history. I would have done better by living the accounts open so I had some credit under my belt.
Fast forward I needed a new car and was able to get the loan in my name at a higher interest rate of course and with the on time payments, I was able to boost my credit score a little. Soon I started getting pre-approved offers for credit cards. Yeah how did they get my information anyway to know I might be able to qualify?
My mortgage counselor suggested I open up a credit card to help establish myself more so I did. I first opened up a Firestone card because I needed to have car repairs done and it was like a blessing since I couldn’t cover all the cost at the time, but I quickly paid that off. Trust me my past credit card experience still has my scared to death. I soon followed up with getting an American Express with a $1000 limit to use for gas and a Visa for any random purchases so I could collect reward points. The Visa card came in handy because I put my son’s school tuition on each month and paid the credit card. The cool part is I almost have enough points to get a tablet that I desperately need for my business.
So no credit cards are not the devil….my uncontrollable spending habits were the devil. I am not perfect, but I have learned so much from my mistakes throughout this financial journey of mine and I hope my experiences can help you as well. Although I now have credit cards, the cool part is I don’t actually need them. It is a choice of whether or not I use them. I can still hold true to what I said before and live my life without them if I prefer.