Credit Cards: Worth the Risk?

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeB+, May 2007

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While a credit card is defined as a plastic card having a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business authorizing the holder to buy goods or services on credit, the definition alone says little about the advantages and drawbacks of the cards themselves. Useful for individuals such as college students in paying for expenses, credit cards are a convenient tool when used properly and responsibly.. However, if abused credit cards also have their risks. While credit cards have their perk advantages, they have their down sides such as massive debts, and ever-increasing interest.

Serving as an effective alternative to cash, credit cards definitely have their perks. Not only can an individual purchase items and pay off the expense at a later time, one can earn a reputation and even points for making purchases with a credit card. In addition credit card companies often compete with one another offering bonuses and extras ever since the mid-1980s (Powell).

Currently the newest and most popular advantage of having a credit card outside of building credit history is points earned for purchases which can be redeemed for products, services, or even vacations (Gelles). Even more practical, Credit Cards serve as a means for emergency funds in unexpected situations where money is needed for something such as traveling. With all these rewards credit cards seem to be an appealing choice for making purchases, or does it? While some advantages are to be made through using credit cards, there are some serious drawbacks to be considered, a large issue being credit card debt. When owning a credit card, often times college students will buy things that they cannot afford. The result of this is increased debt with late fees and massive interest (Clark). Indeed, in 2001 on average nearly 30% of every dollar earned by...