Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Credit Made Clearer

How many people do you know who don't have a credit card? I will be honest with you-with the exception of an Express Store card (from when I worked there for 2.5 seconds) I didn't have a credit card until I was 27. I got two credit cards to help cover wedding costs like flights, hotels, etc. The big stuff. Credit cards in general scare me. I always pay them on time (unless you count the one time I was late on the Express card but I got out of it because my mail was diverted because of Anthrax) for the fear of late fees.  I've paid off one of the two cards and in a perfect world I would get rid of them both.

This isn't a perfect world though and if you use them responsibly credit cards can be good, especially as an expat. If I needed to fly home at the drop of a hat, chances are I'd need to buy a ticket using a credit card. Not to mention that building up credit in a new country is essential when you want to get a mobile phone contract, overdraft or mortgages.

I met up with some other bloggers and the lovely people from Capital One in London last week and we had some really interesting discussions about credit. It's definitely interesting how people view credit based on their age, nationality and circumstances. We all agreed though that the vast majority of people don't really have a grasp of how to use credit responsibly.

Capital One has produced a series of helpful videos called Credit Made Clearer to help dispel the myths, clear up the jargon and help you make the most of your credit card. Learn all about credit, how to prevent ID Theft and credit card fraud. And if you're having problems repaying, you'll find some helpful information and support.

The videos are easy to understand and even give great travel tips, like always get currency before you head to the airport since you'll get a poorer exchange rate there (I always get my money from Cheque Centre; random but they nearly always have the best rates). 

Obviously if you need genuine financial advice about specific issues you should speak to a qualified financial advisor but the videos are a great place to start and would be excellent for helping a young adult understand credit.

Transatlantic Blonde was compensated for her time but all opinions are her own.


Melaina25 said...

I've been trying to find the cheapest airline tickets for a great family trip for our kids this fall, i think it's located in: (, Has anyone had any luck with finding good deals on family resorts and air travel?


Melaina25 said...

I have a few credit cards but pay them off every month and really only use them for the air miles. The funny thing is that as an expat in the USA, I had no choice but to get a credit card or two in my own name, otherwise I wouldn't have a credit rating. Should anything happen to my husband, if I didn't have my own cards (not joint ones) I would have very little chance of getting a card after all these years. Ridiculous really.

Melaina25 said...

I don't have any at the moment.  I didn't have one until I graduated form collage and then I got one, which grew to 2 or 3.  
I left work after a year work and travel in Australia Australia and figured I would never go back again so I wanted to do as much as possible, I put things on the card.  
Then I had a small biz with things on the card, plus I was back in school, so books, gas, sometimes food went on the card.  Anyway I grew a good deal of debt.  I paid it all off and closed the US cards.  
I should have kept one open looking back. 
I tried to open on in the UK about a year and a half ago as you are supposed to charge flights for protection and I didn't have credit.  
Perhaps I should try again.  This time it is to charge flights and not my whims. 

Melaina25 said...

I've had 1 credit card at a time for the past 11 years. I have never ever not paid it off at the end of each month. I guess I have been lucky to always have been able to do that.

Melaina25 said...

Believe it or not, I don't have a credit card. My husband does but I've never had one. My  mother instilled fear in me about debt. I'm sure someday I will though, for now, the husband and I have enough to deal with on his credit cards :(