I think it shocks people when they learn I don't have a credit card. It's not something I walk around telling strangers. But when people hear that I blog as my job they naturally have questions. This always leads to a discussion on debt. (Since the nature of this blog is debt free living.)
Since I haven't had a credit card in almost seven years, today I wanted to talk about how and why I live without a credit card. Before I begin I just want to say that I don't think credit cards are bad. I think, like money itself, they are a tool. And a lot of people know how to use that tool properly.
But the truth is the majority of credit car holders in the U.S. do NOT pay off their cards every month. In fact, on average, credit card holders carry $15,000 in credit card debt. (Source)
And the average interest rate right now is 14.95 percent.
What about your credit score?
Answer: Well, I have a mortgage so that contributes to my credit score. But before that I didn't have one and that was fine since I don't usually borrow money.
Do you know what a credit score is based off of? The amount of revolving debt a person has. In fact, 30% of a person's FICO score is based on how much debt they have. (Source)
Since deciding to become debt free I haven't thought once about the impact not having to owe people money would have on my credit score. That was the furthest thing on my mind.
Even without the use of credit cards, car loans or student loans We were able to get a loan but we had to jump through a few more hoops to get one. You can learn all about that here.
How do you rent a car or a hotel room?
I have a debit card through my bank. It allows me to do everything a credit card would allow me to do, only I use money I already have in my checking account.
What about the points?!? You're missing out on all those credit card points.
I don't know of anyone who retired wealthy because they had credit card points. But, I do actually have a debit card through my bank that earns me airline miles. In fact, because of those air miles we earned through my debt card our entire family is able to fly on our vacation in November for a total of $45. All four of us round trip for just $45!
But what about emergencies?
This question actually makes me sad. I think about a time in my life when I was dependent upon credit cards. I think about how everything was an emergency back then because I had no real emergency fund.
And when the credit card bill came and I couldn't pay that, the emergencies only got bigger.
If you can't pay for an emergency now, how can you pay for one later? I don't say that out of judgment, believe me. I have been there.
That's why it's so important to build an emergency fund NOW. Start today. Put some things on eBay. Offer to keep someone's kids. There are
What about you? Are you living without a credit card? How has that impacted your life?