Your checking account is likely your most active financial account. Money flows through your checking account constantly: paychecks, refund checks, meal share cash, etc come in, and payments for credit card bills, rent, services, etc. go out. Continue reading The purpose of a checking account
I have written this guide as a balanced approach to building credit if you are starting out. It is not intended to give you the maximum credit score, since that would require that you know perfectly how to manage credit from the beginning, an unrealistic expectation. If you follow this guide, at the end of the first year you should have a solid credit history that would allow you to get approved for most credit cards and obtain reasonable interest rates on auto loans.
Update: the recent Home Depot security breach kicked the importance of this up one notch.
Many young folks, especially those that haven’t been in the US that long, conflate debit cards with credit cards. Debit cards have almost nothing in common with credit cards despite their similar physical appearances.
I am still amazed by the drastic change in the content of my wallet when I first hit mainland American soil in 2007. All of a sudden, the majority of the paper bills seemed to evaporate. And this was not a big deal either – I found myself not touching the remaining few for weeks at times. I have a habit of ordering my paper bills in the order of cleanness so I always get rid of the dirty ones first. My paper bills remained fresh for a long time. But this doesn’t mean I became poorer – the whole stack of paper was replaced by my only debit card at the time. I would have carried a credit card if I had owned one.
To illustrate the benefits of payment cards, let me tell you two real-life stories. Continue reading Why credit cards are the best method of payment, and debit cards are the second best
If you have read my first blog post, you may find it tempting to apply for a credit card if you do not already have one. And you should. But I’d like to give you an overview of what exactly you’re stepping into.
So what is a credit card?
A credit card is a plastic card that … Wrong! This is not the right approach. Continue reading Credit card. What is it?