From what I gather, it’s quite unusual for a student to have a credit card. I applied and received one at the same time as opening my student card pre university, and can say I’ve feel some people automatically feel that just because I have a credit card I’m irresponsible with money. My credit card is purely for emergencies. Santander have recently asked me what I class as a financial emergency, and here’s my answer.
A financial emergency? Definitely not a pair of shoes, not even a MAC lipstick. My credit card doesn’t get used on nights out, it rarely gets used for food. The main reason I got it was so there would always be enough money for me to get home if needed. With a boyfriend halfway up the country, and being close to my family, I like the security of knowing that if I need to drop everything I can. I’ve never had to use it in a total emergency, though I came close this summer when W was rushed into hospital. Not sure my phone, credit card or railcard left my hand for a few days!
There are unexpected expenses that occasionally crop up which mean I’m always glad to own a credit card. My deposit on my room this year was paid on credit card, as I simply did not have the money to spare. As was the food shop when I first moved. I can say, with hand on heart, that I only buy things on credit if I know I can pay it off, in full, before the bill is due. I knew I’d have wages coming in, so I used it. Likewise, I’ll use it over Christmas because I know there’s January’s loan to pay it off; though I have to be careful as my minimum loan doesn’t go far!
There are other reasons where I’ll use a credit card too. For big purchases it just makes sense, as it offers buyers protection. And I love having a credit card for an often overlooked reason; it will be building me a credit card. I know of an adult, very sensible money, who was recently turned down for a finance package to buy a new car. The reason? She had no credit rating as she hasn’t ever had a credit card. I believe there are other ways to gain a credit rating, but this is sure to help, and it gives me security knowing I have the “money” there if I need it too.
Now I’m not saying rush out and get a credit card. It is NOT free money, and if you haven’t got good control of spending I’d advise against it. But as an extra piece of financial security, as a means to get a credit rating, I find it useful. Perfect for emergencies.
This is a post in collaboration with Santander.
What do you class as a financial emergency?