I still remember the excitement generated by my first credit card. Years from becoming a financial planner, I saw all the upside – the world was a swipe away – and none of the downside. Thanks to good guidance from my parents, good luck and a good wife who keeps me on track as she lives and breathes a spend less than you earn lifestyle, there have never really been any issues with credit cards. Whew! That’s not always the case, so you want to get off to a good start.
If you’re thinking about taking the leap, here’s a 3-step roadmap to doing your first credit card right.
1. Recognize the utility. There’s real value in obtaining and responsibly using a credit card. Here are several examples that come immediately to mind:
2. Shop for the right card. There are a whole lot of choices, but here are a few key factors that may help you pick your first card:
3. Use with care. This is where the rubber meets the road on doing your first credit card right.
Getting your hands on your first credit card is a rite of passage of sorts, make it a passage to a happy place and not a nightmare.
Share when you got your first credit card.
About the Author: JJ Montanaro is a Certified Financial Planner® professional and part of the Military Affairs team at USAA. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has over 20 years of financial planning experience.
* Disclosure: "Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements."
The information contained is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional financial advice. Please thoroughly research and seek professional advice before acting on any information you may have found in this article. This article in no way attempts to provide financial advice that relates to all personal circumstances.
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