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Credit cards

Review the perks and responsibilities of owning a credit card.

Credit cards can be a handy financial tool. When used properly, they can facilitate transactions, offer perks, and offset bank fees. When used irresponsibly, they can accumulate debt and negatively affect your credit.

It's important to remember that your credit card's available balance does not increase your budget's income total. You should pay back credit card balances during the time between the end of your last billing cycle and the date that your payment is due. This way, you'll avoid interest charges and maintain good credit.

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Perks of having a credit card

  • Offers peace of mind in emergencies
  • Convenient for pre-authorized bill payments
  • Offers unlimited transactions at no additional cost
  • Convenient for online transactions
  • Offers perks that can be financially rewarding (ex: cashback)

How to use a credit card responsibly

  • Consider a low-limit, low-interest card or a card with student perks. 
  • Review your credit card statement each month and pay your balance in full five business days before the due date to ensure timely payment. 
  • Keep your card number and PIN private.
  • Use your mobile banking app to review your balance regularly.
  • Avoid taking cash advances (which have associated fees and interest charges).
  • Discuss unexpected expenses with your bank to explore alternative financing. 
  • Stop any credit card activity if you cannot pay your full balance. 

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