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How to use credit responsibly


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:

  1. Don’t use credit cards to finance an unaffordable lifestyle
  2. Avoid using credit cards if you’re already in financial trouble
  3. Don’t get hooked on minimum payments
  4. Don’t run up the balance in reliance on a temporary “teaser” rate
  5. Make your credit card payments on time
  6. Avoid the special services, programs and goods that credit card lenders offer to bill to their cards
  7. Beware of unsolicited increases to your credit limit
  8. Don’t max out your cards

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides non-profit credit counseling, debt reduction programs and debt relief services to help consumers nationwide figure out how to pay down debt and how to get out of debt quickly. Our professional credit counselors provide free credit counseling to help individuals and families find the right debt solutions to help with credit card debt and avoid debt in the future. Our debt management programs provide help with debts by consolidating payments on credit card debt and other unsecured loans, with credit card negotiation services to reduce credit card debt interest rates and finance charges, helping consumers to pay off debt more quickly.

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