One of the first things young adults need to know when they're just starting out on the road to the rest of their life, is how important it is to build and maintain good credit. In the world we live in today, your credit rating is the basis of how you are treated by the big businesses you will find you need to work and deal with in your day-to-day life.
It doesn't matter if it's renting an apartment, applying for insurance, a car loan, or even a credit card, your credit rating is taken into consideration. Sometimes when applying for a new job they may review your credit report as a reflection of your personal integrity.
Everyone realizes that life isn’t always perfect. There may be a time when some people are not able to meet their obligations temporarily. When a reasonable explanation is given and evidence that you are actively attempting to rectify the situation, financial institutions and other large companies understand and view this as a favorable indication of your veracity.
One of the easiest ways to begin to establish your credit, is by applying for a credit card. There are multiple choices of credit card features that will fit your lifestyle. When applying for your first credit card you will most likely be given a lower credit limit. It's after you've proven your credit worthiness, your credit limit will gradually be raised.
Before you begin to apply for that very first credit card or any credit card at all, you should know the key questions to ask.
- Does it have a low introductory offer?
- If it has a low introductory offer, how long does it last?
- Is the low introductory offer for transferred balances, new charges, or does it apply to both?
- After the introductory low interest rate, what is the regular interest rate?
- Does this credit card charge an annual fee?
- What is the amount of the late fee?
- Does this card have an over-the-limit fee?
These are just elementary questions to be prepared to ask when you are applying for a new credit card and want to compare offers. But before you sign on that dotted line, like with anything new, be sure to read the fine print. How you handle this card and meet your credit obligation is important. Your adherence to the terms and conditions will reflect on your credit rating and could effect you for years to come.