- Emily Friday
4 Important Lessons on Credit Cards for Teens
Turning 18 soon and looking to apply for your very first credit card?
Before you take the plunge and start using credit, it's important to be aware of all the key elements - and risks - of using credit cards. As exciting as it may seem to start tapping away with all this 'extra' money, that money eventually needs to be paid back - and without being aware of all of the consequences of not doing so, you could get yourself into a real financial frenzy!
So, without further ado: here are 4 Important Lessons to Learn before getting your first credit card:
1) Do Your Research
Before going wild planning your first shopping spree with that shiny new credit card, you need to apply that same level of preparation and planning to choosing your first credit card.
Do your research before you apply for anything: compare annual fees, interest rates, and any rewards offered. And ALWAYS read the fine print within the Terms and Conditions!
There are plenty of credit card comparison sites out there, but with MoneySavingExpert you can check your eligibility for certain cards before applying - minimising damage to your credit score from a 'hard search' on your report.
2) Be Realistic
Whilst conducting your research, consider choosing a lower limit for your first credit card to avoid the temptation of spending more than you can afford.
Be realistic about what you can afford to pay back in full every month, as not doing so will add huge amounts of interest to your outstanding balance - especially if it's your first card. The cards that are easier to apply for are the ones with the highest interest rates, so be careful!
Need help crafting your first budget? Check out our post on 3 Useful Budgeting Methods.
3) Reap the Rewards
Take advantage of rewards that certain credit card providers may offer e.g. cashback and travel points.
Credit cards make money from your debt, so every company will be battling for your application. Many will also offer 'reward cards' with incentives to entice you, so make sure you're getting something beneficial in return. Have a read of this guide for the best cashback and reward cards currently on the market.
4) Know Your Limits
If the idea of credit is still a little daunting to you and you're not 100% confident that you'll be able to pay off the balance on your card in full every month, it may be best to avoid credit cards until you get your spending in control.
To help build your money confidence why not try an ImageNPay prepaid card first to improve your money management skills? As you can only top-up your card with the amount you choose, there's no risk of overspending, no interest fees, and no getting into debt!
Prepaid cards can be a great stepping stone to eventually using a credit card responsibly to build your credit score. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what feels right for you!
Read more: Why Should You Use a Prepaid Card?
To find out more about how the ImageNPay app can help you level up your budgeting skills, just tap the button below & download FREE on the App Store or Google Play!