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According to a survey by Bankrate, only 33 percent of millennials have a credit card. Although the thought of acquiring credit card debt can be intimidating, credit cards can be useful financial tools if utilized properly. Credit cards are an effective way to start the process of building credit – particularly important for millennials who eventually want to purchase larger items such as homes or cars. The way millennials use their card and understand credit will determine whether they have good or bad credit. Before applying for a credit card, it is important that millennials learn responsible financial behaviors to ensure they don’t fall into debt.
Before millennials get themselves in over their heads, here are some ways they can protect themselves by using credit wisely:
- Don’t use credit cards to finance an unaffordable lifestyle
- Avoid using credit cards if you’re already in financial trouble
- Don’t get hooked on minimum payments
- Don’t run up the balance in reliance on a temporary “teaser” rate
- Make your credit card payments on time
- Avoid the special services, programs and goods that credit card lenders offer to bill to their cards
- Beware of unsolicited increases to your credit limit
- Don’t max out your cards