Four Reasons Every Consumer Should Consider Using a Credit Card

Credit cards receive a lot of attention for the negative impact they can have on personal finance, and it’s certainly true that some consumers fall victim to living above their means and entering a cycle of revolving debt that can be difficult to emerge from. That said, when credit cards are used properly, they can be an integral tool in a consumer’s financial toolbox. Here are four reasons every adult should consider having a credit card.

They can actually boost your credit score. Establishing a long, positive credit history will contribute to higher credit scores because lenders are looking for evidence that you pay your debts. The older a credit card account is, the more positively it will affect your credit score – as long as your history also includes making your payments on time.

They can save you money on the things you would purchase anyway. There’s a reason credit card rewards are gaining in popularity – consumers can use them to save money on things like travel and groceries, or get cash back to use at favorite stores and restaurants.

They protect against theft. Credit cards are designed with fraud protection that simply isn’t available using cash or even debit cards. If stolen, card purchases can be immediately halted with a simple phone call to customer service.

They provide an emergency fund. Although any financial planner will tell you it’s best to have a stash of emergency cash in an easily-accessible bank account, polls show that many Americans simply aren’t able to save for unforeseen expenses. A credit card ensures that emergencies won’t leave you unable to pay your rent, child care or other necessary expense.

Of course, the best recipe for credit card usage is one that includes paying the balance down to zero each month, and credit cards will always be most advantageous for consumers with the discipline to do so.

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