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First Bank Credit Card - What to look for with your first bank credit card

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Credit cards are becoming an increasingly common part of society. Even in these tough economic times, people continue to make a significant number of purchases on credit cards, for better or for worse. Although credit cards can be dangerous tools in the hands of inexperienced users, they can also offer numerous advantages to consumers, and can be very useful in emergency situations. If you have never held a credit card in your name before and are just beginning the search for your first bank credit card, you may be overwhelmed at the sheer number of choices available in today’s financial market. It can be incredibly confusing to navigate through a seemingly endless supply of companies and financial institutions that promise everything under the sky if you make their card your first bank credit card. However, with a little research beforehand and keeping in mind some things to look for and things to avoid, the process of selecting your first bank credit card does not have to bring you weeks of headaches. The following guide will provide information of things to keep in mind when you begin the search.

When looking for your first bank credit card, if you are currently attending a university, college, or junior college, look for a credit card affiliated with the financial institution of the school. Typically, this will be a credit union or a bank. The advantages of school affiliated cards are primarily that they are designed with students in mind. As a result, they will typically not include fees, and when they do, they will usually not be as many as those that come with regular credit cards. Additionally, a first bank credit card from a financial institution affiliated with a school may come with rewards. The primary drawback of school affiliated credit cards is that they will almost always offer you a lower credit limit than that you could obtain from a card unaffiliated with a school. However, this in itself may be an advantage, as if it is your first bank credit card, you will generally want to avoid a high spending limit to keep you from falling prey to bad habits while you get used to the card.

Another thing to look for when choosing your first bank credit card is a system of security. A secured credit card is one that includes some kind of initial deposit. This way, if you have a bill on the card that you do not pay off by the due date, the bank can dip into the deposit you already made and retrieve their money from your account. It is not difficult to get approved for a secured card as long as you are already able to make the minimum deposit; in effect, the deposit will be used by the bank as a form of collateral.

The advantages of secured credit cards are that they allow the bank to have greater faith in you as a customer since you have already put forth a certain amount of money, and they allow you as a consumer to build your credit score. However, it is not necessary to have a secured card to build your credit, so this should not be your only reason for choosing such a card. A potential disadvantage of a secured card is that it does require you to have some cash on hand in order to open the credit card account; if you do not have a substantial amount of money already with you, you may be better off with a traditional first bank credit card.

Regardless of the specific card you decide to go with, you should be sure to read the terms and conditions of the card very carefully before you commit. The reason for this is because there are many banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions that will try to sneak in hidden fees into their contracts and terms of agreement, and you may not notice these hidden fees on paper until you start seeing them appear in your bills. Also be on the lookout for high interest rates; the higher the interest rate, the more difficult it will be to pay down any debt you acquire.

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