Finance professor shares tips for getting first credit card

July 30, 2019

Even if you're not a fan of credit cards, you should have one to help build your credit history to get the best deal when it's time to by a car or house, says Dr. Bradley Stevenson, an associate professor of finance in Bellarmine University's W. Fielding Rubel School of Business.
Bradley Stevenson
"It is important for people with no credit to get a credit card in order to build a credit history," Stevenson told the personal finance website WalletHub. "If they manage their credit card well, they will have a good or excellent credit rating. This not only makes getting loans for other items like a home or car easier, it makes it cheaper. If you build a good or excellent credit history, the rates you pay on loans will be lower than they would be otherwise and this saves you money."
Stevenson's tips for getting your first credit card:
  • Shop for the best deals. "Do not just respond to an offer you receive in the mail," he said.
  • Consider cards offered by credit unions. "Their rates tend to be better," he said.
  • Don't be enticed by a high credit limit. "Constrain your spending by setting a low limit for yourself."
  • Consider adding children as authorized users on a card. "Being an authorized user can help you build a credit score," he said. "However, I think the main benefit is learning how to use a credit card wisely."
  • Of course, pay your full balance each month.
Read the full interview with WalletHub
Stevenson received his Ph.D. in finance and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. His current research interests include financial markets and institutions with an emphasis on institutional efficiency, institutional risk and monitoring ability. He is a member of the Financial Management Association, the Southern Finance Association and the Midwest Finance Association. Previous professional experience includes positions as a client relationship manager at Fifth Third Bank and as an administrative services representative at the Union Central Life Insurance Company.

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