Credit Cards/Debit Cards/Credit Scores - Oh My!

How many of you have credit cards? Debit cards? Do you worry about your credit score? My husband and I just bought a new car a few weeks ago and I was excited because I planned on financing about $5,000 of this car for about 6 months. You see, we pay cash for everything and have only 2 credit cards. There is no mortgage on our house. In many ways we are very blessed because of this, but in the credit scoring world, points are deducted from our score because we don't charge enough!

Well, I ended up not being able to finance even the $5,000 on the car because my credit was frozen and they wouldn't accept the information I brought from the bank showing I had more than enough money in there to pay for the car, not to mention that fact that we were also putting over $20,000 down on it. So, there went another opportunity to add to our credit score. I find it rather deplorable in this day and age that a person needs to spend money on interest charges to make sure their credit score stays at a decent level so that ones insurance rates and other similar things remain at decent levels.

So, back to credit or debit. Some people believe that no credit score of any type is needed. A score of 0 is the best thing to have. That might work for some people, but I like to have a credit card available, and because of that, I need to keep my score up. Having at least 2 forms of credit open is pretty important so we keep two cards going. We ALWAYS pay off both cards on a monthly basis. Don't ever keep a balance. I am also going to agree with Dave Ramsey that those people who use credit cards, even those who pay them off, tend to spend more than people who pay cash for everything. If I carried actual money around instead of my credit card, I would spend less. I do keep a detailed budget each month, though so that does help keep me on "budget." I do not use debit cards because credit cards give you more protection.

I've added a couple of links on good credit cards for seniors, as well as some advice on using credit cards. I think it boils down to one of those things in this world for me: can't live with it, can't live without it. You need to be very careful with not overspending, identity theft and paying on time, but at the same time, they sure come in handy when you find yourself in a bad situation with no money.

Be safe and have a wonderful retirement if you happen to be at that time in your life.  If you need assistance with any part of your daily routine, please consider using Seniors Helping Seniors® in home care.  You can email us at: or call us at 623-748-9854.