Most folks can’t fathom leaving their homes without a credit card. But if you’re trying to avoid racking up debt, keeping that credit card in your wallet is about as easy as leaving your hard-earned six-pack under wraps in June…when you’re at the beach. There’s always a reason to pull ’em out. In the case of credit cards, there will be a happy hour, dinner or show waiting for you to swipe.
And things will likely snowball from there. Some financial experts suggest using your debit card or cash instead, but that’s not always a surefire bet. Running out of cash is easy. You can leave the house and have an unexpected errand or event that will send you to the ATM, which means fees if you’re not at your own bank’s location. And who wants to use their debit card at random spots and risk getting their entire account balance swiped by some hacker.?For all these reasons, there is another option to consider: a secured credit card.
While these cards— which require a deposit for the entire credit limit— are often encouraged for folks who are building their credit score, they do have other benefits. Like these.
You Choose Your Budget
Secured credit cards allow you to put down as much, or as little as you want to secure for your line of credit. Pre-paid credit limits tend to be lower—who wants to put thousands of dollars on a credit card? The smaller balance makes it easier to pay in full at the end of each month. You can roll your secured card into your budget by adding the full balance repayment into your monthly expenses tally.
Better Than Debit
Debit cards are a great way to have access to your funds in real time, without carrying cash. There is one issue. If your account is hacked, all your cash can disappear in a Thanos snap, and getting your bank to investigate or reimburse can be quite the headache. Secure credit cards remove all of that burden. Your cash is treated like credit and you never have to worry about losing your bill money.
You Pay Twice
You have to secure your credit line by pre-paying your credit limit in full. You also have to repay whatever you spend, ideally in full at the end of each month to avoid paying interest on your own money. If that’s not a deterrent from racking up debt and an incentive to stick to your budget what is? The good part is if you pay your bill in full each month you’ll consistently boost your credit score and avoid paying interest.