Post # 1
So, I see that many bees do not have credit cards. I understand the temptation to use them for purchases that you can’t afford etc., but I still don’t underdstand not having one for just in case type situations, what do you do? For example, if I had to bring my dog to an emergency vet in the middle of the night and the vet only took/debit or credit and the bill was $3k, how do you pay? Do you keep money in your regular checking for such times? For me, I wouldn’t dig into savings, I would throw it on a card and then pay it off when i got home, or maybe in a week or a month. I have been taught to have savings but that its ok to have a credit card for emergencies as well. I like having it when I travel abroad and don’t have easy access to my checking and savings account.
So I guess my questions are:
1) If you do not have a credit card(s), why?
2) How do handle emergency situations these days when personal checks are often not acceptable?
Just curious 😉
Post # 3
I don’t have any credit cards because I got into serious financial trouble a few years ago after my SO lost his job, I couldn’t pay the bills on my own, my credit cards went to collections, and were cancelled. I’ve since caught up on everything and paid off all of my debt, but my credit was ruined so I still can’t get another credit card. I keep money in my savings for emergencies.
Post # 4
1. I can’t get approved because of something my mother did when I was 18 – she took a credit card my bank sent and started using it, racking up almost $1,000 in debt. Since I had no job at the time, I couldn’t pay it off and she kept promising to do so but ultimately never did. It went into collections, and I *finally* got the whole thing paid off last year, but it destroyed my credit and I’m still building it back up. Every card I’ve applied for has denied me, and I know having too many inquiries ruins your credit even more so I’ve stopped bothering. I figure if I pay my bills/taxes on time for a few years, I might be approved for one in another 2 years or so.
Fiance, on the other hand, has excellent credit, so if we did need something we can use his.
2. For emergency situations… idk. I haven’t had too many and am crossing my fingers that I don’t. I do try and keep a certain amount in my checking account at all times just in case, but I don’t make much money so it can’t ever be too much.
Post # 5
@nickels: I have a credit card, but I haven’t used it in 6 years. I just use my debit card for everything. I do keep a check o matic on my checking account that automatically kicks in if I go over my balance and I have a large credit line on that. I have never had to use it, thank goodness. I worked really hard to get rid of all debt, and I don’t plan to get any, fingers crossed.
Post # 6
I do not have any credit cards.
I have savings accounts. One is regular savings and the other is my “just in case” account. I keep a certain amount of money in that account and I have a debit card that is linked only to that account. If there is an emergency, I use that debit card just as if I were using an emergency credit card only I don’t aquire any debt. I actually make money off of it instead, because it’s an interest accuring account. I work very hard and wish to control my own money and have it work for me but to each his own. 🙂
Post # 7
Thanks for the replies. Part of me was wondering if everyone just had so much money saved they would never need a credit card for emergencies. Then with a previous post someone wrote about Bank of America’s credit card that allows you to have a unique number just for a certain purchase, which I had no idea existed (but love the idea of). So I guess I was just left wondering, what else do I not know about haha. Thanks bees!
Post # 8
I don’t have a credit card because I really haven’t needed one. Totally no judgement here, I just have literally been too lazy to shop around for interest rates and things. Typically, if I don’t need something, I just don’t bother with it.
In case of emergencies, I actually go to my parents to help me until I can make it. I’ve only had to do that once, though.
And I have a debit card that works similarly to a credit card in terms of checking out at a store, I almost never use a check.
Post # 9
I have an American credit card, but not a French one and that’s where I live. I only use my credit card for emergences or very rare occations, and never buy anything small on it like I did when I was living in the US. It’s nice to know I have it if I need it, but honestly I’d rather pay off things in full rather than be in debt. Now that I’ll finally have a job, part of my paycheck will be going towards an emergency fund, so hopefully I won’t need my credit card in the future.
Post # 10
Thanks for the replies. Right now Fiance & I are remodeling a house so basically we put online purchases on a credit card (floors etc) and then just pay it off when the statement comes in. It keeps your credit score nice and high and we get tons of rewards points to play with for travel etc. But we only are spending the money we have. I liek to hear about the way other people do these types of things.
Post # 11
I have 2 credit cards with a zero balance. I use them for things every now and then and pay the balance off immediately, so I don’t incurr any interests. Its a great way to build credit. I also find credit cards are needed a lot nowadays with car rentals, hotels, etc, so they come in handy.
Post # 12
We’ve had credit cards in the past but we don’t like them. It’s too easy to over extend yourself and then you could be ruined financially. Short of furniture, we don’t charge anything. Going forward, we won’t even charge furniture anymore since I’d much rather just save for it and pay cash. We’re firm believers that you should only buy what you can afford. If that means you can’t buy the new TV that you’ve been eyeing, then so be it. We have a few family members with more credit card debt than they make in a year. It’s sickening and I would NEVER want to be in their position. There’s nothing that we need or want that cannot be easily attained with a few weeks/months of saving. We haven’t used a credit card in over 4 years and we’re still able to buy everything that we want and lead a pretty comfortable lifestyle.
As for emergencies, we have plenty of money in our bank accounts and debit cards that are accepted everywhere. If something came up and we needed tens of thousands of dollars then we’d have an issue but I think even those with credit cards would be in the same boat. We’ve had car troubles and high vet bills before but we’ve always been able to pay everything with the funds that we have available. *knock on wood* We live a virtually debt free lifestyle (we have small debt here and there but it really doesn’t amount to very much) and we’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Post # 13
@nickels: I totally agree with you-I always thought CCs were for emergencies. I make 9 dollars an hour-no matter how much I save I will not have a huge or even medium savings account while in school. A few years ago I fell on some very difficult times and I would have starved to death without my credit card. I got it when I turned 18 and only made small purchases on it and paid the balance in full every month. When a real emergency finally happened, it pretty much saved my life having that lifeline. I know a lot of people disagree with this, I guess it just depends on a lot of factors.
ETA: My fiance doesn’t have credit cards because he doesn’t believe in them, but ironically when we fell on hard times and had to make a sudden move across the country, it was my credit card we had to use to move. Luckily, we were able to pay it off quickly, but without my card, we would have never been able to afford the move.
I think a lot of it is personal honesty-if you know you will only use it for emergencies, I think a CC can be a great tool. We were able to move and get better paying jobs, so for us it was worth it to put money on the card. But if you will be tempted to spend it on crap you don’t need, don’t get one.
Post # 14
What about when you check in at a hotel and they need a card for incidentals? I’d rather they put that $0 on my credit card than deduct $200 from my debit and have to wait for the charge to drop off.
Post # 15
@daybyday: Renting a car too. I know some people have luck just using debit cards but credit cards make a lot of things so much easier!
Post # 16
My questiois for bees without credit cards: how do you plan on building credit? Automatic bill-pay and debit cards only build itty bitty amounts of credit. When you get married, it doesn’t matter how good your FI’s credit is if you try I buy a house together and you have no/low credit.
I have 1 credit card. Each month I use it for my every day purchases. At the end of the month, I get a bill. I move that amount of money from savings to checking and pay all of that bill.