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Although it is possible to pay cash or use a debit card for daily expenses, these types of transactions are usually not reported to the credit bureau. Most people need credit for major purchases such as a house or car, but without a thick and positive credit file, credit may be denied.

• Without credit cards, people miss out on the convenience of being able to purchase items or pay for services when cash is not readily available.

• Carrying cash is risky, as the money could be lost or stolen, whereas credit cards often offer consumer protection features including those against loss.

• Credit cards provide a safety net for emergency situations.

The majority of poll respondents, 61 percent, believe that paying credit card debt in full each month is the only responsible way to manage personal finances. The benefits associated with this type of behavior far outweigh any disadvantages and include the following:

• Timely bill payments and a low credit utilization ratio are typically the top weighted elements in credit scoring models. Therefore, this type of behavior could have a positive impact on an individual’s credit scores.

• The convenience of using credit can be enjoyed without paying any interest or penalties.

• The entire line of credit remains available for future use.

• Stress and worries of being over-extended are avoided.

For more information, visit www.DebtAdvice.org.

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