Today’s average American has thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Many have chosen to live their lives entirely without credit. A decision like this usually comes after a bankruptcy, job loss or fear of being in deep debt. Living without credit doesn’t come as easy as it sounds however, having no credit score can cause a few bumps along the way. Here are a few suggestions to help you get up and over those bumps and on with your credit free lifestyle.
If you already have bad credit can it get any worse? The answer to this question is yes and no. It can get worse if you can’t pay your bills. Finding a way to pay your bills and your debt is tantamount to staying on top of your game. Consider your options and pay as much as you can. Prioritize your bills and create a budget.
Deposits for Services
Many utilities require a deposit for their services. Most people put this deposit on a credit card and just leave it sit there until they move and the utility service refunds them a partial amount. If you’re living without credit you’ll need to come up with the entire deposit amount in cash.
Renting a Home
Renting a home or apartment is a bit easier than it sounds here. You can use previous rentals as references and often that will suffice. If you don’t have any previous rentals you’ll likely have a tougher time finding a place to rent. Remember though, everyone has to start somewhere and finding an owner that will work with you is a great bonus here. Stay away from huge corporations as they are more likely to require credit to rent from them.
Getting a Job
Seeking a job in the banking industry? In all likelihood you’ll have to pass a credit check and if you don’t have any credit or you have bad credit that can go against you. If you have no credit make it a point to tell the interviewer you don’t believe in holding a balance on a credit card so you don’t have a credit card. It may or may not help but it’s worth a try. There are many jobs that don’t require a credit check as well so keep looking and don’t give up hope.
Living debt free without a credit card is an exciting venture. You’ll need to have a well funded emergency fund to fall back on though in case you have a car breakdown, an illness and need to purchase medication before pay day, or some other urgent need such as a broken down appliance.
Debit Card vs Credit Card
If you look at most debit cards today you’ll see a little logo in one of the corners for one of the major credit card companies. This means that your debit card, providing you have funds in the account, will work just like a credit card. This is helpful when making reservations but remember, you’ll need to have the funds available in the account in order to secure said reservations.
Can a Business Really Refuse My Cash?
Occasionally you’ll run across a business that simply won’t accept cash. Although these are few and far between you’ll need to be prepared with a debit card with a credit card logo, or use a money order. Businesses have varied reasons for such a tactic but usually it’s to protect their employees.
Remember, there is no shame in living without a credit card, getting a handle on your bills or paying for everything in cash. It’s just different and often people balk at different.