I want to get a credit card

Are you ready for your first credit card?

A few clues will help you decide whether getting a credit card might make your life easier or, on the contrary, make it a nightmare.

Do you have income and a budget that will enable you to pay the charges on your credit card?

Having a credit card does not mean having more money; on the contrary! All the pruchases that you charge to your card must be paid by a certain deadline. Therefore, you must make sure you will have enough money when the time comes to pay up for what you have bought using your card.

Advice: Go through the exercise of drawing up your monthly budget (income minus expenses) to figure out where you stand.

Do you always pay your bills on time?

If you have a credit card, you must be very careful to always pay all your bills on time; otherwise, your credit record will be affected. If you are already in the habit of paying cell phone bills, for example, on time, this is a sign that you may be ready to take on other responsibilities.

Advice: Find out what a credit record is. Order a copy of your record to see what information it shows so far. Are you good at paying bills?

Do you have any savings?

If so, so much the better! This means that you are able to set goals for yourself, and that you have some financial resources to deal with an emergency. Speaking of emergencies, you would not want to rely on your credit card in the event of an unforeseen expense, and have to pay interest charges.

Advice: Want to build up your savings? A few dollars per month are enough. Open a savings account, and find out ways you can manage your money.