I was recently quoted in an article for CreditCards.com, one thing they left out that is worth noting: yes, use a credit card every month, but pay off the full balance every month as well. And always remember the most important thing, a credit card is NOT an emergency fund!
Debit trumps credit for younger millennials
A 2016 survey by TD Bank found that on average, Americans make $4,700 worth of purchases each year with their credit card, and just $2,400 with cash, checks or debit card. By comparison, millennials do the bulk of their spending – or $5,200 – using a debit card, check or cash, and make just $3,300 in credit card purchases.
That debit versus credit preference gets flipped as millennials age. Older millennials, age 25-34, are the most likely group to use credit cards, at 83 percent, versus the runner-up baby boomers at 78 percent, a 2016 FICO survey found.
Younger millennials often “don’t know it’s a good idea to have a credit card and use it,” says Samantha Gorelick, a 34-year-old wealth adviser at Heron Financial Group in New York. “It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.”
Even something as simple as opening up a credit card and linking your Netflix account to it can help you build credit, Gorelick says.
Having a good credit history and credit score is important if you want to own a home or take out another type of loan, she says. The higher your score, the lower the interest rate you’ll get – which means you’ll pay less.