NEVER Put These Expenses on Credit Cards
Credit cards are no longer the “emergency use only” tools they once were. Outstanding consumer credit card debt surpassed $1 trillion in 2017, the highest it has ever been. Unfortunately, not all consumers are borrowing responsibly. According to NerdWallet, 86% of Americans who had or currently have credit card debt regret it. Using a credit card responsibly is one way to positively influence your credit score. However, not every expense should be put on credit cards. Here are some of the big-ticket expenses Experian warns, should never be put on credit cards.
An unexpected tax bill can be a huge financial burden, and post-April interest can compound quickly. Not only will putting a tax bill on a credit card accrue hefty interest, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will charge a merchant processing fee of up to 2%, and that figure may increase for third-party services. If you are unable to pay a tax bill on time, contact the IRS and file for an extension or payment plan.
The interest rate on student loans is almost always lower than the interest rate on a credit card. A large tuition fee for yourself or your college-aged children will also eat up a significant portion of your credit utilization issue. Plus, when you add the processing fees charged by colleges and universities, it’s far less expensive to opt for student loans from a bank or other lender.
Healthcare costs continue to rise, with no sign of relief in sight. If you are in need of expensive medical treatment, avoid adding that balance to your credit card debt. Most medical and insurance providers offer low to no interest payment plans and sometimes you can even negotiate a lower bill.
Most lenders do not accept payments via credit card, but sometimes a third-party service can facilitate it. This will usually cost a large fee and your credit card debt will be cobbled together with the mortgage debt.
Responsible credit card use helps consumers build their credit score and thus get better repayment terms and interest rates when taking on additional lines of credit. If you have any questions about what you should or should not put on your credit card, consult a financial advisor before making any big moves.