Do You Really Need a Credit Card at the Age of 25?

need a credit cardA 25-year old is done with college and is probably into his first job. At the threshold of adulthood, he wants to fulfill several dreams in a short period of time. Most people believe that having a credit card is an important factor of becoming an adult. However, there are many individuals who think such cards are unnecessary. Just like investing is not necessary, having a card is also not a necessity. So then why would a 25-year old need one?

Here are five reasons why having a credit card at the age of 25 is beneficial.

1. Deposits are Not Necessary

Some merchants who accept debit card payments require the customers to also pay a higher deposit at the time of booking. In case a person is unable to execute the plans, the merchants are still able to earn some of their cash deposit amounts (because there fund is done after deducting a certain sum). These are similar to security deposits and may become inconvenient. A credit card eliminates all such difficulties for the users because merchants do not require deposits for such transactions.

2. Deferred Payment

When an individual uses a debit card to purchase any product or service, the money is immediately deducted from his bank account. On the other hand, a credit card purchase does not have to be paid until the next payment due date. For example, if a cardholder purchases something using his card on the 1st of a month and billing due date is 31st of the month; he enjoys an interest-free period of 30 days. Although this may not seem like much, being able to make purchases without the need to pay upfront cash may help users save a lot of money over a longer period of time.

3. Affordable Home Loan Interest Rates

Many people think that they may receive better discounts and close a home purchase faster if they pay in cash. However, if a person has used his credit card responsibly and made timely payments, this is reflected in his credit score given by a credit rating agency like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). A higher credit score is beneficial in reducing the interest cost on home loans and other types of borrowings. This makes it less expensive for people to buy their dream home. Furthermore, paying the mortgage installment with a card reduces the actual cash outflows and helps prevent financial difficulties.

4. Reward Points

Most card companies provide excellent reward-based credit cards for their customers. These issuers allow the cardholders to accumulate reward points on their spending. These are redeemable against several offers, such as travel deals, air miles, or purchasing some products and services. In addition to the reward points, users may enjoy cashback offers and benefit from signup bonuses that make credit cards more beneficial.

5. Develop Credit Score

A 25-year old may not have any credit history. However, he may need to avail of a loan in a couple of years to purchase a home or any other asset. This period may be used to develop a good credit score using a credit card. When an individual utilizes his card responsibly and has no delays in payments, it has a positive impact on his credit score. Having a strong credit score has several direct and indirect benefits, such as increased possibility of receiving approval on loans and lower interest rates.

People often find lots of information on how using a credit card may have severe outcomes, such as financial distress and debt traps. However, using a card wisely also has many benefits. However, before applying for a credit card, it is important to check credit card eligibility and understand the terms and conditions related to credit cards.

Quick Installment Loans Offer Options When Paying Off Debt vs Investing

debt vs investmentsWhen creating financial goals and setting a budget, most folks understandably have questions about personal finance topics such as cutting back on expenses, how to save, what investments are best and how to get out of debt. These subjects are important because very few individuals have an unlimited income stream, and most face competing demands for their paycheck.

Regular monthly bills, such as rent, utilities and groceries often take up a good portion of the budget. It’s also wise to not spend every penny that one earns, but, instead, to hold on to a portion of it in order to have the funds available to save, invest and pay off debt. With all of these competing demands and only limited money in a budget, it’s difficult to decide which goals are the most important.

This is especially true when it comes to planning how much money to spend and save and which personal financial goals should take priority: investing or paying off debt?

Why Investing for the Future is Important

There are many types of investments one can make, and they run the gamut from stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate to mutual funds, 401(k) plans, annuities and even notes held against corporate, private and public debts. Basically, anything whose ownership can be acquired, either in part or whole, and later sold if one so chooses, is an asset which might grow in value over time and in which others can invest.

Investments are attractive because they offer the potential for growth. This is why it is a wise financial move to set aside a portion of one’s money for investment. However, it’s difficult for most individuals to find room in their budget to be able to save up enough money to invest, especially if they happen to already have a lot of debt, since debt and other spending eat into cash flows.

The High Cost of Debt

According to information about household debt from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 69% of all American households had some form of debt in 2011, the last year for which comprehensive data is available from the agency. The median amount of debt that they hold is around $70,000. Debt is a significant issue for most Americans, as debt payments often consume a major portion of the budget.

In addition to holding individuals back from being able to invest, it can also prevent them from being able to save for other goals, such as college tuition, a down payment on a home and saving for retirement.

When Debt is a Good Thing

While debt can take up a large portion of many folks’ budgets, not all debt is necessarily bad. For example, most people are unable to buy a home unless they pay for it over time through a mortgage. Other times, loans can be a real benefit if they improve one’s cash flow, such as taking out quick installment loans in order to consolidate several smaller loans or credit card balances.

When used to consolidate debt, this type of loan can help individuals to reduce the amount of interest that they pay over time on expensive revolving debt. Once all of the debt has been combined through consolidation, it also decreases the number of minimum monthly payments that must be made to keep accounts current, which is especially helpful for people who have several small debts that may require $50 to $100 or more in minimum monthly payments.

In this way, a simple installment loan often helps individuals to be able to shake debt more quickly and free up a significant amount of their cash flow each month which they are then free to save, invest, or spend elsewhere in their budget.

Balancing the Need to Pay off Debt vs. Investing

Since many investments tend to grow in value over time, especially classes of assets that involve the payment of interest, it’s always a good idea to regularly commit even a very small portion of the budget to investment, even when there is significant debt. Deciding how much to save for investment, and how much to save to pay down debt will depend on the constraints of the individual’s budget.

There are a number of popular budgets, but many financial experts, including Senator Elizabeth Warren who is Special Adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recommend the 50-30-20 budget.

In this budget, payments to meet needs such as housing, transportation, and other expenses are limited to 50% of the budget. The other half of the budget is divided between spending on wants, such as entertainment and savings that are used to pay debt and invest.

Deciding how to divide 20% of the budget between debt repayment and investing is the tricky part. It’s a good idea to always be putting something towards investing, but when the amount of interest on the debt is significantly larger than the interest that one can earn on an investment, it’s better to pay down the high interest debt first, and then slowly increase the amount earmarked for investments.

It’s also important to note that one doesn’t have to spend 30% of their budget on one’s “wants.” By reducing discretionary spending, even in the short term, it’s possible to free up additional funds to pay down debt so that there is always more room in the budget for investing.

Rather than avoiding all debt, properly managing it, such as using an installment loan to consolidate debts made at higher interest rates, gives borrowers options and enables most individuals to be able to meet their needs, indulge their wants and have enough money in their budget to both repay debt and invest at the same time.