Search

The pros and cons of having a credit card

I am excited to announce I am working with Zopa on the launch of their new credit card!

I am a big fan of credit cards and I think it is important to understand the pros and cons of having a credit card and how to manage a credit card responsibly.  And I want to talk about Zopa’s new credit card which has some super unique features I love, and the help you feel in control. Representative APR 34.9%

When you feel confident and in control of your own money, it really does make you feel good.

But to feel financially confident, we need to be educated so we feel comfortable talking about and handling our money! Unfortunately, we are not really taught about personal finance in school which is why I love working with Zopa because they align with my mission to demystify money.

What we do know is that a badly managed credit card can lead to serious financial problems, but there are things that you can do to manage it well from the get-go.

Now most of you probably will end up getting a credit card at some point so it is important is you understand the credit deal you are entering and that you get a card that suits you.

A lot of people will tell you they wish they had known from a younger age how to manage money better and control their credit card spending. The mistake that a lot of people make is going in with a big available balance thinking all that money is theirs to spend! But any money you spend on a card, you do have to pay back – credit cards are not just ‘free money’.

If you are reasonably new to credit, the best thing to do is to start off with a card that offers a smaller balance so you can build you confidence using it – spending on it, paying it back, then you can choose to increase your limit if you want to.

Bradshaw GIF by E!

CREDIT SCORE BUILDING

Your credit score affects many things like our ability to get a mortgage, a business loan and even taking out a mobile phone contract! So, if you are new to credit or looking to build good habits moving forward, credit cards can be an amazing way to build up your credit score.

 

How can you use a credit card to build your credit score?

  • Credit payment history – Make sure you always pay on time and never miss a payment to show your lender you are reliable. But know it works both ways so if you miss a payment, it can impact your credit score negatively.

Zopa’s new credit card is has Continuous Payment authority which works like a direct debit and you can make automatic repayments, so you never need to worry about paying late or missing a payment.

 

  • Credit utilisation – Keep your credit utilisation at around 30% to improve your score . For example, if your limit is £500 you should keep your balance under £150

Another great feature on Zopa’s credit cards is the Safety Net. You can lock away a percentage of your limit to help you control and set your credit utilisation to a level that you want.

 

PURCHASE PROTECTION

With a credit card, you have more protection for fraudulent activity and when it comes to your purchases. Under Section 75 in the consumer rights act, you are covered for any purchases over the cost of £100.

Zopa’s card has some great security features. If you misplace your card, you can instantly freeze and unfreeze it in the app. Or if it actually has been stolen or lost, you can easily re-order it through the app, nice and easy.

 

USING IT AS A CASH FLOW TOOL

It is important to learn how to live within your means and by creating a monthly budget you can make sure you are spending less than what you earn. It is also important to understand your spending habits and you can use a credit card for this  if you like!

 

Zopa’s easy to use app has everything all in one place and puts you in control of your spending.

By using the Safety Net feature, you can limit how much available credit you have to use to match your budget. If you had a £500 limit and only £300 to spend for the month, you lock away £200 in he safety net leaving you with the available £300 limit to spend.

The great thing is if you do need the money in your safety net, you go into the app and unlock your net in the app with just a few taps. Having this extra step can helps you become aware of how you are spending your money.

 

Secondly the app sends instant push notification and real time balance updates to keep you in control. So when you make purchase or repayment you get an instant notification so you know exactly what you are spending and have left to spend at any given minute.

This is why I love Zopa’s card, because you don’t have to wait around for your actual balance, and you know if you can actually afford a purchase in that exact moment.

 

The Zopa app breaks your purchases into categories so you can see exactly where your money goes each month.

This will empower you to take control of how you are spending your money because you can ask yourself “am I happy to carry on spending this much in this category or do I need to make a change here?”

David In Control GIF by Australian Survivor

So to round up a well- managed credit card can be great if you need to build your credit score, for purchase protection and also to track your spending.

How to use a credit card responsibly:

The important thing is understanding that a well-managed credit card comes from being you responsible and practicing good habits from the start of using it.

  1. Always paying your credit card bill on time – if you do not, it will affect your credit score negatively.
  2. Never just paying the minimum amount back each month – because it will take ages to pay off and usually cost you a lot in interest. The best thing is to pay it off in full every month.
  3. Only spend on your card what you can afford

If you implement these, it will be extremely beneficial when it comes to managing your credit card.

Also doing the right due diligence before taking out credit is the responsible thing to do and you should never take on credit card debt if you do not have any way of paying it back. And it is also good to acknowledge how you feel about money – working on your money mindset will help you manage your money better.

Zopa’s credit card has been designed to help you see with ease and transparency where your money is actually going, so none of this “oh I dunno where my money went this month”. If you are interested in Zopa’s new credit card, it is out now – you can head over to their website at www.zopa.com/credit-card to learn more! Representative APR 34.9%.

 

 

 

Author: Laura Moore

I am a 26-year-old living in London and currently learning how to live my absolute best life whilst still being financially stable… everyone’s dream right? That is the journey I am on and I learn something new every day, so I am documenting and sharing my experience. I want to show you how you can have fun and still have money, at the same time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. My mission is to help you become financially free. After making a very last minute to decision to go travelling in 2015, with the money I had saved ready for Drama school, it was then that I realised the freedom that money can give you. I want to demystify money and help you all feel empowered by your finances. Talking about all aspects of saving, budgeting, clearing debt, investing (and many more), I am here to help you take control of your money.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*