There is a lot of conflicting words of wisdom doing the rounds regarding the use of credit cards in South Africa. This can be very distracting if you are a first-time credit applicant, or even a seasoned credit card user. Here are a few pieces of ‘common sense’ that have been debunked by our credit experts:
Credit cards = bad debt
Not necessarily. Credit cards are not inherently bad or out to get you. It’s a financial tool like any other, and it’s all about how you use and manage it. If used correctly, a credit card can be a safe and convenient transacting tool. In fact, it could even help you to build a good credit history, if you pay it off consistently.
The money is yours to do with as you please
Also, not completely accurate. The 'money' on your card represents credit that your bank has extended you. You are not allowed to use it for any illegal activities, or online gambling. Also, if and when you use your card abroad, you must comply with any and all exchange control regulations.
Plastic money is drastic money
While it is true that you must never come to rely on your credit card as your main source of spending money (or pay off one credit card with another, ever!), the proper use of your credit card can actually be a valuable exercise in learning the financial ropes. For instance, if you preload your credit card with money (i.e. pay it over from your main exacting account), you are able to use it freely as you would your debit card. The difference is that you’re far more likely to enjoy rewards from your bank.
Have you lost control of your credit card repayments? Get in touch with a Libertine Consultants representative. We’ll help you to assess your debt situation, tailor a manageable repayment plan to clear it, and pave the way to the financially prosperous future you deserve. After all, everyone deserves a second chance and we’re here to help you!