Credit or Debit, Pick Smart!

What is Safe and Smart?

Difference between the two

Debit cards allow you to spend only money you have to spend, so money you earn or are gifted with in an account.
Credit cards are "borrow/loan" from a bank or company that you promise to pay at a later date with interest.

How to build positive credit effectively.

  1. Having a credit card is ok, that is the only way to build credit for the future when you want to own a car or home.
  2. Always make your payments prior to due date, paying full amount and not just the minimum.
  3. Look at your interest rate, if you find a better card, you can switch, it will help to show new credit, But CLOSE THE OTHER CARD FIRST!

Advantages and Disadvantages of having credit

Advantages:
  1. Will allow you to take out a loans for car, house, etc.
  2. Credit cards will allow you to build your credit
  3. Credit cards allow you to earn rewards when used.

Disadvantages:

  1. Can cause you to lean on "borrowed" money and over use
  2. Can cause your credit reports and credit scores to be much lower
  3. At a higher risk for identity theft.

What Apps can help you tract your credit and manage your money.

  1. Mint: Personal Finance & Money - App run by Intuit, allows you to manage your cash flow, budgets and bills all in one spot for free.
  2. Budget & Personal Finance - Financial control app, that aims to work as a personal finance manager w/in Android.
  3. Monefy - Money Manager - Ad free App, easy to navigate, intuitive that allows several accounts to be managed at once.
  4. Expense Manager - Free App, helps track not just finances but also allows someone on the road to track their mileage, taxes and receipts for expense reports later on,
  5. Simple - Better Banking - App/Online Site that replaces your bank, simplifies your budgeting. Tells you how to safely spend your money

Where can I find my credit reports:

Once a year you can access FreeCreditReport.com to request a report from all 3 of the credit reporting agency's.
  1. Experian
  2. Trans-Union
  3. Equafax
By checking your credit report once a year you can make sure that nobody has stolen your identity, or a item has been miss reported on your credit.
If you find something that doesn't match or seems out of character you need to report(dispute) it with the company that you find the error with as well as the company that has filed the issue.

What is APR? How does it effect things?

APR is your annual percentage rate of charge, it describes the interest rate for the whole year, rather than a monthly fee/rate. Typically applied on a loan, mortgage loan, credit card, ect.
For example: On a loan of a $1000, at 18% interest, and a $50 a month payment
It is going to take 24 months to pay off the loan. The last payment will only be $47.81. Your total amount of interest or the Finance Charge will be $197.81. So your total amount of your loan after interest will be $1,197.81.

Are you struggeling with your credit and debt.

There are multiple ways to get help if you are struggling. If you have to much debt and credit and you find yourself drowning there are places to go that can help. A lot of your debt management companies will work with your creditors to consolidate all your debt. Either into a single monthly payment, work a deal to lessen your total debt in exchange for full payment of bill, and many other ways.
See below for one of the many companies that are out there.