Credit cards are amazing tools that allow us to do things we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. Used properly they can be a fantastic purchasing tool for certain items. However, they are full of hidden fees and interest rates, and can easily be mismanaged — driving you straight into a whirlpool of seemingly never-ending debt.
Credit card debt is unsecured, and often has a higher interest rate than home loans and most other loans. While you may need to use a credit card for certain things, make sure you have the ability to pay the debt down quickly. Here are some things that should NEVER be put on a credit card.
Things You Should NEVER Put on a Credit Card
College Tuition: Many Americans can trace back years and years of interest paid on college tuition, because the tuition was paid on a credit card. Instead, look into low interest rate student loans and scholarships. Of course, there is always the option of working while in school.
Your Tax Bill: It is very easy to just charge your current tax bill to a credit card. The IRS makes it easier by encouraging it — they don’t care how you pay, just that you do. However, there are several reasons you shouldn’t do this. The main reason is the interest you will pay on what you already owe — and payment processors will collect a fee of 1.88 – 2.35%. This means you will end up paying much more than you really owe.
A Wedding: Many of us have already done this, including myself. However, it is never a good idea to start your life together under a huge amount of credit debt due to your wedding. Look for payment alternatives — and if you do have to put some of your wedding on a credit card, use some of the money you receive at your wedding to pay down the debt immediately.
Vacations: Again, by the time you pay off the vacation you put on your credit card, you will have ended up paying way more than originally thought. Instead, try to save money for vacations. Start early, and put money in the pot each month until you reach your goal.
Medical Bills: This one may be the hardest to avoid. Uninsured Americans’ insurance bills are atrociously high. Even insured Americans have to deal with huge medical bills sometimes, depending on the situation. But this is no reason to turn to the credit card right away. Look into getting interest and payments dropped, and try to workout a payment plan with the medical company first.
Credit cards do offer some good things, like rewards and miles. They can be used in the right situations, and still help you build your credit score. However, it is never a good idea to use them all the time, as they will trap you faster than you think. NEVER put the above items on your credit card, as they are all items that will eat you alive, and drown you in instant debt.