Feel proud to flaunt your credit cards while dining out with your girlfriend?
Happy to show off credit cards while shopping with relatives?
Eager to own your first credit card may be now that you have got the first job of your life?
Well, wait for a moment before you start living and dreaming a blissful life of credit cards that promise the world to you, making you feel like a real King of some fantasy land! Come back to earth and get some realistic look at this plastic monster that is seeking a place near your bum inside your wallet to actually rule you!
It is not all fun with credit cards. It has some dirty secrets that can mess up your life real bad and you won’t even know what hit you, until it hits you!
Let’s show you the Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards!
1) Life of Debt
Our elders used to avoid debt at any cost and it was a matter of shame for them. Nowadays, though it is no big deal, but having to always live under a burden of debt is kind of not good for health. Credit cards let you shop anytime, anywhere and you accumulate debts. On top of it, you’re not required to pay off the entire balance at one go so you make a minimum payment and feel happy. In reality, the balance amount still remains, which you have to pay anyways in addition to the new shopping you do in the next monthly cycle!
2) High Interest Rates
The bank is not asking you to carry forward your balance to next month for nothing! It charges you interest on the balance and it’s pretty high! Even though you did an impulse purchase of your favourite sneakers at a super discount, that saving will be wiped off by the interest on credit card payments.
3) High Penalty
If you make minimum payment every month, you have to pay interest. If you miss your payments, there is an added element of high penalties along with interest! This will just squeeze out every bit of money you had saved or tried to save by using credit cards. Net result is you pay higher than the cost price of a product/service you bought to save cost in the first place! Apart from penalties, there are over-utilisation fees, foreign transaction fees etc to make sure you actually PAY for your sin of using a credit card!
4) Costly Cash Withdrawls
In case of emergencies or unplanned expenditures, we sometimes tend to withdraw cash from our credit card account without knowing how costly it is. The bank charges a humungous amount as interest on such transactions and it ends up for you as an added unplanned expenditure! Add to it the late payment penalties and interest on payments and you can imagine where it all leads to!
5) Misuse of Credit Cards
Credit cards are the most abused and hacked financial objects the world over. You swipe your card in a shop or use it online for some transaction, that data can easily be stolen and used to fake your identity. Once it is done, not only your future financial transactions are put at risk, it can also be used to make unlawful purchases on your behalf! Even though credit card companies boast of a robust security system, it is not fool proof and every year all major banks of the world suffer millions in losses owing to credit card thefts and misuse!
6) Credit History
Banks have started to keep a track of your credit usage and it affects your financial standing as an individual. So if you are marked as someone who is late on payments or has any other negative traits on credit history, it will get difficult for you to get any loans in future, from any bank! Therefore, if you have credit cards and you don’t use it judicially and carefully, your financial status will be hampered badly in the long run!
7) Impact on Financial Goals
You might have planned a vacation or thought of buying a dream home or doing some saving for your retirement. But it can all go down the drain if every rupee you saved for such dreams is paid towards interest or penalties on credit cards!
Credit cards can help you only if you handle them carefully. If not, they can really make your life hell! Decision is yours!