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In a world where fewer and fewer purchases are made with paper money, some businesses have even begun refusing it altogether. These days, a credit card isn’t a luxury – it can be a necessity. But if this is your first credit card, you may have some questions. Don’t worry – People’s Community Federal Credit Union will guide you through the process.
Your first credit card is an indispensable tool for savvy personal finance, and at People’s Community Federal Credit Union, we can help you get started. Apply today.
Why Should You Get a First Credit Card?
Convenience and increased purchasing power are common reasons why many people get credit cards, but they’re far from the only reasons. Your first credit card can help you out in many other ways including:
- Building credit: Your credit will follow you throughout your life and affect your ability to make large purchases from cars to houses. Using your first credit card responsibly is a great way to build the credit you need to make significant purchases.
- Fraud protection: Most credit cards offer built-in fraud protection, refunding the money for any purchases that weren’t yours.
- Earning rewards: Many credit card companies offer rewards: cashback, points, or miles that can be used to treat yourself to something special when you’ve earned it.
- Rainy day factor: Unfortunately, things can go wrong, and with your first credit card, you’ll be prepared when they do.
How to Choose the Right First Credit Card for You
Every person’s financial situation is different and different credit cards are designed for a wide range of situations. Consider the following factors when choosing which credit card to apply for:
- Rewards and card benefits: In addition to rewards like miles and points, different credit cards also offer benefits to users like access to airport lounges, concierge services, and much more. Make sure you choose a card with the benefits you’ll use.
- Interest rate: The interest rates available to you will typically depend on your credit history. With good credit history, you gain access to lower interest rates.
- Annual fees: Some cards charge annual fees while others don’t. Typically, cards with lots of add-on benefits will also have higher annual fees.
- Usability: Do the places you like to shop accept the type of card you have? Or maybe you plan on taking your credit card traveling. Make sure they’ll accept your card at the places you’ll be.
Who Can Apply for a First Credit Card through People’s?
To quality, you’ll need to be a member and meet a few basic criteria:
- At least 18 or older
- U.S. citizen or a resident with a Social Security number
- Own a checking account
- Proof of income or proof that you can make payments
Have questions about Credit Cards?
Questions about your account or our services? Our Member Services team is standing by.
Important Tips for First-Time Credit Card Holders
While it’s true that credit cards are everywhere these days, they’re still not something to take lightly. Especially if you’re applying for your first credit card, remember that responsible credit card usage is crucially important. Spending too much and wracking up interest payments can put you in debt in a hurry – and it can be difficult to recover.
Here are some important tips we recommend to anyone getting their first credit card:
- Understand the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement fully: People will often start using their credit card without understanding the terms and conditions first. Make sure you don’t make this mistake so you can avoid surprises later.
- Pay off your entire balance every month to avoid interest charges: There’s a grace period between the time you make a purchase and when you have to make a payment. As long as you pay off your balance during this period, you’ll avoid hefty interest charges.
- Check your statement regularly: Although credit cards typically come with fraud detection systems, it’s important to regularly review your balance to make sure there aren’t any charges you weren’t expecting.
- Create a budget and stick to it: Responsible credit card usage goes hand in hand with responsible personal finance, and budgeting is a crucial part of both.
How to Get a First Credit Card
Your first credit card is a huge step forward in your personal financial journey, opening doors for yourself later in life. By spending responsibly with your first credit card, you’re demonstrating to financial institutions that you’re a good candidate for auto loans and home mortgages.
First Credit Card in Vancouver WA
Serving Greater Vancouver WA