Why I chose a prepaid credit card

 This is a guest post.

You can’t get credit without a credit card, and you can’t get a credit card without good credit. This is a dilemma that many people find themselves facing, whether they are trying to re-establish their credit or build credit for the first time. In fact, this is the dilemma that I found myself in. My solution was to get a prepaid card, and here’s why.

The Real Deal with Prepaid

Prepaid credit cards have earned a mixed reputation over the years. While it’s true that they usually have more fees than a regular credit card, they also offer a financial solution for people who don’t have good credit. And you should also keep in mind that they don’t charge interest because the cash that you are using is yours to begin with. The important thing to remember about prepaid cards is that they are a means to an end; once you rebuild your credit, you’ll find it much easier to apply for a card with better rates and fewer fees.

In addition, prepaid cards offer several advantages. The most important one for me was the convenience of having a card that I could use to make purchases. Prepaid cards look and work exactly like regular credit cards (you don’t have to enter a personal identification number to use them), so the only one who knows it is prepaid is me. And while I use cash for everyday purchases, there’s no avoiding the need for a card when you have to shop online or pay for gasoline at the pump, for example. Most digital merchants only accept payments from cards linked to large financial brands like Mastercard and Visa, and my card gives me a way to buy what I need from whoever has it in stock. In addition, my prepaid card offers me a way to keep track of all of my purchases electronically, which is helpful since I am trying to keep a closer eye on my budget.

Prepaid cards also offer security. Cash can easily be lost or stolen, but if you lose a prepaid card, you can easily get a replacement. More importantly, your balance is protected by a replacement guarantee from your bank, which comes in handy if you ever have to dispute fraudulent charges.

Perhaps the most convenient factor of a prepaid card, though, is how easy it is to get one. You don’t have to have a bank account in your name to receive a prepaid card. However, if you do have an account, you can easily link it to your prepaid card.

Changing my spending habits and getting out of debt hasn’t been easy for me, but one way for me to show creditors that I am getting better at managing finances is to build my credit with my prepaid card. It’s also a way for me to eventually be able to make big purchases that are necessary, such as a car, and hopefully one day, a home. Prepaid isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself considering this option, it’s worth a second look.


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    Comments

    1. My wife has an Amex just so there in never an issue. I have never paid a finance charge and get cool kick backs so it’s all discipline.

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