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Credit cards

Credit cards can be a terrific convenience and a smart way to build your good credit. They can also be a lifesaver if you need fast, short-term credit. They can also be the worst thing that ever happened to you. Educate yourself!

Credi Cards AdWhen you enter the workforce or go off to college, you may find yourself bombarded with "pre-approved" credit cards and blank checks on lines of credit. Be careful! When you accept these offers you sign binding contracts that can bury you in debt and ruin your credit for years to come.

No interest for six months? Are you sure? Better read that fine print. Because if it's deferred interest - no interest payments for six months - you could be looking at a BIG bill a few months from now.

Protect yourself and your card

Read all the terms of your card member agreement. Save receipts and check your statement carefully each month. Learn how to compute the real cost of purchasing on credit.

Don't lend your credit card to anyone, ever, no matter how cute, nice, hot, cool, etc. Do not give your credit card number or the three-digit code on the back to a stranger who contacts you for any reason. Keep your card in a safe place and carry it only when you need it.

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