When You Should Not Use a Credit Card

Using credit cards had become the norm for many people, however, there are many occasions when using a credit card might not be such a good idea and where you should think twice before pulling out your credit cards. Here are a few times you should leave your credit card in your wallet instead.

1.  When you're making a purchase you can't afford.
If you can’t afford to pay for a purchase in cash, then you really can’t afford to put it on your credit card. If you swipe your card knowing you can’t pay back what you bought, you could be guilty of fraud. You may not necessarily be arrested, but some creditors may use the fraud argument to keep you from bankrupting that debt later on down the road.

2. When cash gets you a better deal
Sometimes paying cash is better because the seller may be offering a discount on a cash transaction or there may be times when the seller may charge extra for swiping your credit card. In such situations, it's better to use cash if available or a cheque.

3. Don't go over your credit limit.
If you choose to exceed your credit limit, you may be liable for higher interest rates. This may badly affect your credit score. Always confirm your available credit before using your credit card.

4. When buying online and the website address does not begin with "HTTPS".
If you don't see these five letters in the address bar of the website you are trying to make a payment on, it means the site is not secure. HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet.

When the URL begins with "HTTPS," the site is secure, and you are safe to use a credit card. If the site does not include an "s" in this beginning part of the URL, opt out of the online purchase, and try using a third-party payment system like PayPal instead. These sites act as another barrier between an organization and your credit information. If all else fails, try paying in person.

5. When you don't trust the person or device handling it.
With credit card skimming, thieves can easily steal your credit card information and fraudsters are known to have placed skimming devices on ATMs and at gas pumps.

This also applies to fairs and flea markets as these shops are temporary and in case of a dispute, it will be difficult to track them. In such places benefits from using a credit card outweigh the potential dangers.

You’re not liable for most fraudulent charges, but it’s still a pain to deal with. Don’t use your credit card if you think there’s a chance your card information could be stolen.

6. When you're applying for a mortgage.
Mortgage lenders dislike big credit card balances when you’re applying for a mortgage. The more credit card debt you're carrying, the harder it will be to qualify for a mortgage because that also means you may have a hard time making mortgage payments.

It’s best to save big credit card purchases at least until after you've completed the mortgage process. It's even better to wait a few months after you've closed to get adjusted to having a mortgage and other housing expenses.

7.  When you're intoxicated.
If you’re intoxicated or even hungry, you could spend more than you’re able to pay back. Don’t shop when you’re hungry and only carry a limited amount of cash if you plan to drink. That way you can keep your purchases under control.


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