Credit Card Catch 22: You Need Credit to Get Credit

Learn the truth behind credit card catch 22!

Young adults and students are common victims of credit card catch 22: you need credit to get credit. The idea is that if you don’t get a credit card and start building your credit rating now, you won’t be able to get credit when you really need it in the future. If you follow the myth to its logical conclusion, you’d wind up believing that if you don’t have a credit card in your youth, you’ll never be able to buy a house, car, or even obtain a credit card in the future.

Credit card companies don’t promote this myth, but they don’t go out of their way to debunk it, either. After all, students make great targets for credit cards. They’re perpetually short on cash, and if they fall for this myth about credit cards, so much the better. But how many students have applied for credit cards just to pay for books and build a credit rating only to find themselves hopelessly in debt?

Building a Credit Rating

Like most credit myths, credit card catch 22 hopes to take advantage of people who don’t have a lot of information to go by. That’s why this myth targets students and young adults. Often, these are people who rely on their friends for information, and we all know how quickly myths travel through word of mouth!

There is a speck of truth to the myth, too, which helps it spread all the faster. You should begin to build a credit history and credit rating. It will help you in the future. But if for some reason it’s impractical or imprudent for you to use credit at this point in time, you shouldn’t be worried about it destroying your future!

Building Credit Without a Card

There’s another aspect to credit card catch 22: the idea that the only way to build credit is through a credit card. This simply isn’t true. In fact, building credit through a credit card is the most dangerous way to build credit. Let’s be honest: how easy is it to slide that little piece of plastic when you’re short on cash? Credit cards do provide a way to build a credit history, but they also provide a convenient way to slide deeply into debt.

A safer way to build a credit history is through a small bank loan. Get a small loan to buy a car, pay your tuition, or even buy your books, then make sure you pay it back. The point isn’t how you get credit, but simply to have it.

Don’t let this credit card myth suck you into making poor credit decisions! Make your own assessment of your self-control and financial situation before undertaking any loans, credit card applications, and the like. Otherwise, myths like credit card catch 22 might snare you in their webs!