Get Smart About Credit
Oct 21, 2021
As we approach the holiday season, it’s especially important to get smart about the way you handle credit. Although MFS is partnering with the American Bankers Association (ABA) to help teens and young adults use credit cards wisely, everyone at any age could benefit from these pointers:
- Create a realistic budget and stick to it. It’s your job to manage your money. Set yourself up for success by creating a realistic plan and accepting responsibility for it.
- Watch your spending. It all comes back to the simple lesson of determining needs vs. wants. Pace spending and increase saving by reducing unnecessary expenses – like eating out or shopping excessively – so that your money lasts throughout the year.
- Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in your youth could affect you throughout your life. Shop around for a credit card that best suits your needs. Pay as much of the balance as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date to avoid late fees. Realize that if you carry a balance, you will pay interest on it.
- Utilize your bank’s services. Banks are more than a repository for your money. They offer valuable services like check cashing, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit of your salary, financial education, and some, like MFS, offer protection from identity theft.
- Be cautious when it comes to money. Don't just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends, or salespeople who have ideas for how you should invest your money.
- Save, save, save! Things happen, and it's important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down or you face any one of life’s unexpected emergencies. No matter how small the amount, you should start putting some money away immediately.
- Ask for advice. Ways to handle your finances advantageously may vary when your circumstances change, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your banker can be good resources for you, and remember, the sooner you consult someone knowledgeable, the better.
The information herein is general/educational in nature & should not be considered financial or legal advice. Consult an attorney or finance professional regarding your specific situation.