When a financial emergency hits, it’s time to freeze your credit cards and stick to cash, right? The reality is that a healthy mix of cash and credit might be what you need to see the other side of a financial emergency. Here are a few ways credit cards can assist:
You have cash when you need it. Some things can only be paid using money from your checking account. For example, rent, utility, and loan payments generally can only be made with cash. Using a credit card to pay for other necessities lets you stretch your cash a little further. And if you need more cash in a pinch, you can use your credit card to get a cash advance. Some card issuers charge a fee and a higher APR for cash advances. At DCU, you pay zero fees and have the same APR as your card purchases for cash advances.
Your current debt can be reduced. Do you already have debt on an old high-interest credit card? This debt can be financially draining in good financial times, let alone when money is tight. By transferring your balance to a credit card with a lower rate, you can ease some of the pressure from your debt. With a lower rate, you’ll accumulate less debt from interest. You may also have a lower monthly payment, giving you more money to use during difficult times. Look for cards that have zero fees for performing a balance transfer.
You can build – or rebuild – a credit history. If your financial situation leads to you making late payments or missing them entirely, your credit score can take a hit. Making regular, on-time payments toward your credit card balance can help slowly improve your credit history and score.
You’ll have a higher level of security. If you lose a wallet full of cash, you’ll be unlikely to recover the funds. Every dollar counts during a financial emergency, so it pays to take extra precautions. If you lose a credit card, you have more protections in place against theft. It’s easy to cancel or freeze a credit card, and to dispute fraudulent charges.
Looking for a card that works for you? Explore DCU’s credit card offerings, with competitive rates and no balance transfer, cash advance, or annual fees.
During uncertain times, we want you to know that DCU has options available to help ease the financial stress you may be under, so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family. In order to help our community during this crisis, we’ve deployed our Financial Relief Program along with offering payment deferrals and loan modifications. Learn about the changes, including unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, waived overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees, and more.