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Credit Cards: Evil Traps or Useful Tools?


Credit Cards: Evil Traps or Useful Tools?

Your credit scores are arguably the most important numbers in your life. After all, credit has an impact upon you when you apply for a mortgage, try to finance a vehicle, open a new utility account, and credit may even impact you when you apply for new insurance policy. In fact, building healthy credit scores is so important that you should consider it to be one of your top wealth building priorities. Building healthy credit scores is right up there on the financial importance scale with becoming debt free and saving for retirement.

In order to establish healthy credit scores, you have to prove that you are capable of managing credit responsibly. One of the best ways to prove that you can manage credit responsibly is to open credit card accounts. However, for many people it can be very intimidating to have open credit cards. If you have ever made credit mistakes in the past or if you have ever overextended yourself financially and found yourself underneath a crushing load of debt then it is understandable why you may be a little gun shy where credit cards are concerned.

It can be very tempting to avoid credit cards all together if you have ever made credit card management mistakes in the past. Unfortunately, avoiding credit cards might have negative repercussions where your credit scores are concerned. What you need to remember is that credit cards themselves are not evil. A properly managed credit card offers customers a lot of great benefits. Here are a couple of the best ones:

1. Fraud protection –
If someone steals your cash, you have no reliable way to get your money back. If someone steals your debit card, your personal money could be at risk (at least temporarily) while the bank investigates the unauthorized transactions. If someone steals your credit card then the bank’s money is on the line, not your own.

2. Credit Building Possibilities –
If you keep a $0 or very low balance on your credit cards and you always make your payments on time, you have the potential to receive a credit score boost from your well-managed credit card accounts. The longer you manage your credit cards properly, the better the impact may be upon your credit scores.

Consider the Facts

People who are determined to live a “plastic-free” life with a cash only payment mentality often wind up paying more money in the long run than those who have credit cards but manage them properly. Remember, credit cards are not evil or bad. Racking up a ton of credit card debt by overusing your credit cards is definitely a horrible idea. However, excessive credit card debt can absolutely be avoided if you manage your accounts properly.

Properly managed credit cards can be a powerful tool to help to build your credit scores. An individual with no credit scores (or low credit scores) will likely pay more for car insurance, home insurance, and utility deposits. Plus, while it would be nice to pay cash for a house, most of us have to take out a mortgage to in order to purchase a home. Without good credit scores you can expect to either be turned down for a mortgage or to perhaps pay a higher interest rate and down payment. A higher interest rate on your mortgage could cost you tens of thousands of extra dollars over the life of the loan.

The truth is that bad credit happens to good people all the time. Just because you have low credit scores does not mean that you are a horrible person. Low credit scores simply mean that either you have made credit management mistakes in the past or that you have been the victim of unfortunate circumstances. Either way, you deserve a second chance and you can absolutely make a plan to begin rebuilding healthier credit again today. However, swearing off the use of credit cards is not a good strategy.

If you need help developing a plan developing a plan to begin rebuilding healthier credit, CLICK HERE to schedule a no-obligation analysis with a HOPE Credit Expert.

CLICK HERE to check out some great reviews for secured credit cards. It is best to do your research BEFORE you apply.


Michelle Black is an author and a credit expert with over a decade of experience, the credit blogger at, a recognized credit expert on talk shows and podcasts nationwide, a contributor to the Wealth Section of Fort Mill Magazine, and  a regularly featured speaker at seminars up and down the East Coast. She is an expert on improving credit scores, credit reporting, correcting credit errors, budgeting, and recovering from identity theft. You can connect with Michelle on the HOPE Facebook page by clicking here. 

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