What are the main disadvantages to getting a credit card?
Published Mon, Dec 3, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
For most people, getting a credit card is a great idea; they help to build up your credit rating, protect you from fraud and are pretty universally accepted to pay for anything. But they are not perfect for everyone and there are certainly downsides…
They cost money
Whenever you make a purchase with your credit card you are borrowing money and whilst most cards come with various interest free periods, if you don’t pay back that money on time every time you will pay interest. If you are pretty good at paying off your credit card then this might not be a problem, but if you forget often then you will end up paying interest which you wouldn’t have to pay if you just used your debit card instead.
You need self control
Credit cards give you the ability to borrow money. Most people use them for convenience, but if you are short of money it is very easy to spend money on your credit card that you don’t actually have. You then end up leaving a balance on the card because you can’t pay it off and it is possible to get yourself further into debt from there.
Additionally, if you end up with long standing balances on your card your credit rating could be harmed, which would negate one of the main advantages of having the credit card in the first place!
Too easy to spend
Finally, for some people, spending money on your credit card is just a little bit too easy because it is just a bit of plastic and you know that the money you are spending won’t come out of your bank account straight away. As a result you might find yourself spending money more freely than you would if you were to use cash for every purchase.