Applying for a line of credit isn’t the hard part

Plastic money is one of the most convenient and easiest ways to pay for things when you’re out and about. It’s also one of the easier ways to start spending recklessly, if you aren’t careful or mindful with your cash. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start searching for the right credit card.

Understand your credit history

Do you have great credit or bad credit? If your credit is good, you’ll likely be approved for most of the cards you apply for. But if you have bad credit, expect a tougher road in securing a credit card. This doesn’t mean you won’t get approved for a card by a lender. It means if you do get approved you can expect a higher interest rate, a lower credit limit and in some cases, accepting an alternative secured credit card which requires you to deposit a certain amount of cash on the card (as your credit limit) or have that amount in a savings account as part of the requirements.

Read the fine print

Credit card companies will attempt to lure you in with deals of “no interest for six months!” But some of those deals also have stipulations to consider. For instance, if you miss one payment, you’ll be charged interest for not only the remaining months left on the promotion but for the back-interest on prior months you thought were interest-free. If the deal sounds too good to be true, check it out first.

Utilize only what you have to

Just because you have a $10,000 credit limit doesn’t mean you should max it out in the first week you have it. Having a credit card is a responsibility, and ultimately, it’s a promise that you’ll pay back what you’ve charged on the card with your credit reputation on the line.

If you go crazy on your cards and then don’t pay them back, you’re on the hook for the balance. And it could damage your credit.

Ready for a new credit card? Apply for a Travis Credit Union credit card today!

 

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