Guest post by Alayna Pehrson – Content Management Specialist at BestCompany.com
You can use credit cards as tools to build your credit, right? Unfortunately, many people fail to see credit cards in that way. Credit cards can have a poor reputation that some people simply can’t overlook. Although credit cards will only cause damage when used irresponsibly, many people still get anxious when they think of using a credit card. Here are a few tips to help you overcome your credit card anxiety:
Do Your Research
One of the best things you can do to lessen your credit card anxiety is independent research. Reading blogs, books, and seeking out other resources can help you understand how to use credit cards wisely. Countless, easy-to-access articles and websites focus specifically on credit cards and how you should use them to your advantage. It’s important to keep your personal spending and financial habits in mind as you do your research. For example, if you know that you often spend over your budget and you are prone to making irrational purchases, then research credit card articles and blogs that relate to your situation. Millions of people use credit cards daily, so there is bound to be at least one person out there who has faced similar situations and who can provide helpful advice about credit cards.
Learn From Others
Another thing you should do is learn from others’ mistakes. Almost everyone has made a credit card mistake at least once since they started using a credit card. If you observe their credit card usage as well as their mistakes, you will be able to understand the best and worst ways to use a credit card. You can learn from parents, relatives, friends, bloggers, etc. Learning from other people’s credit card mistakes can help you avoid making those mistakes in the future. After all, why should you suffer the same fate when you know how to avoid it? Observing both those who have good credit and those who have poor credit will teach you to recognize the difference between good and bad credit habits.
Check Your Credit Report
Not only can you learn from others, but you can also learn from yourself. Regularly checking your credit report can show you what areas you need to improve on when it comes to your credit. Staying in tune with your credit report is also one of the best habits you can develop. Those who check their credit reports on a regular basis are also more likely to catch identity theft before any real damage happens. For example, people who regularly check their report will have a better chance at noticing when any type of fraudulent activity (like unwarranted purchases and accumulated debt) is present. Overall, your credit report can show you how well you are handling credit.
Conduct a Self-Audit
In addition to regularly checking your credit report, conducting a financial self-audit could also help you with your credit card anxiety. Sitting down once a month and going over your credit history, your credit habits, and your debts can confirm that you are in control of your finances or highlight areas for improvement. You may think that a credit card will overrun your life and automatically condemn you to a lifetime of debt, but hopefully, your self-audit will show you otherwise. This self-audit should also be a learning process. You may not have great results after one audit, but that can be seen as an opportunity for personal financial growth. Again, you need to be willing to learn from both your mistakes and successes.
Handling credit cards and finances with confidence can be a challenge. After all, if it were easy, everyone would have good credit and zero debt. Fortunately, there are ways to become confident with your credit card usage. If you develop and maintain good credit habits, do your research, and learn from both yourself and others, you will see your anxiety and fears disappear over time. You should remember that you are in charge of your financial future. Obviously, life can be difficult and throw challenges your way, but in the end, you are the one who uses the credit card; it doesn’t use you. Although having bad credit can be scary, you should keep in mind that it can be fixed. Fixing your bad credit does take time and money, but will definitely prove worthwhile.
If you’re concerned about your credit, learn about your options. Contact us today to learn more.