jackets5

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Hey, i already have a credit card which i use for personal usage. I was thinking of getting another on which has O% intrest for the first year in order to use for some of the expense of applying to med school. Anyone here think of this idea and if so what card are u guys looking at. thanks
 

Without Wax

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I just wanted to say be careful.

I wish there was a "how to use a credit card" in my high school. I got into a financial trouble in my college year by spending too much.

If you have no income, only use your credit card for an emergency, and try to have only one credit card.
(Your backup would be a debit card)
 

2tall

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I just wanted to second what Wax said. Use "cash" as often as you can. For interviews...use a student host to save money.

0% interest until Month/Year is a TRAP! Your rate will go up after the intro period OR if you break any of the terms and conditions. It's just not worth it.

My advice is to just get an extra job on the side...telemarketing, delivering pizzas, anything...you'll be in a much better position financially and you'll feel so much better.

Some people use credit cards for groceries, eating out, clothes and applications. I just don't see the point in financing fruit, filet mignon, a T-shirt from the GAP, or a VCU secondary.

CREDIT CARDS STINK, "CASH" WORKS.
 

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First of all, you're treating a credit card wrong.

It shouldn't matter what the interest rate is because you're going to pay it off every month and as you go, right?

If not, that's what you should be doing. The best thing about credit cards is that they are convenient. If I want to order something online, bang, I'm done.

Then I go online to my credit card company's website and pay it off within a week or so, deducting it directly from my bank account.

And this way, I'm racking up frequent flyer miles on about every dollar I spend.

Be careful, especially if you aren't working.
 

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Credit cards aren't all bad. But I would never use one to finance my education. After the first year, interest rates could go up to 20% and you definately don't want to have that happen. Though, I am one of those people who uses my credit card for everything else. I still pay it off in full every month so as to avoid interest rates, but I have a Universal card so I get rewards that I would not if I just had cash. I've already received free movie tickets and a DVD from them for using my card for all my purchases. So if you are into getting one, definately look for one with rewards for using it.
 

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jackets5 said:
Hey, i already have a credit card which i use for personal usage. I was thinking of getting another on which has O% intrest for the first year in order to use for some of the expense of applying to med school. Anyone here think of this idea and if so what card are u guys looking at. thanks
beware, beware the credit card. if you need money, it would be wiser to take out a personal loan at the bank. credit cards should not be used for creating debt you have no way of paying off in the near future.
 

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I agree with everyone else that it is ideal to pay for application expenses in cash as much as possible. But for some of us, a credit card is a necessary reality to pay for this ridiculously expensive process. If you are smart about managing your debt, it is not the end of the world. I work full-time already, but there is no way I could have come up with the thousands of dollars I have spent so far on applications and interview expenses on my own, which is what I would have to do--my mom is currently unemployed and even when she had a job, she made less than I do (no father involved). If you have zero family support and have to find a way to do this on your own along with paying for all your other expenses (rent, food, medical care, etc), a credit card is one possible (if less than ideal) solution.

Some tips for the OP:

-As others have mentioned, use the card only for expenses you can't cover yourself. In other words, don't get a credit card to pay for med school applications so you don't have to get a job or so you can take more vacations. Exhaust your other options (your earnings, savings, and family resources if you have them) before turning to a card. Consider delaying your application to another year to save money (I didn't want to do this, which is why I decided to get my first credit card this year so I wouldn't have to wait to apply. But if you're not in a hurry, it could be a better way to go).


-If you do decide to get a card, make sure to read the fine print--some of these cards limit the 0% APR to certain things or have other strings attached, but there are some good deals out there. I got my first credit card specifically to help pay for this process, one with a 6 month 0% introductory APR on all purchases and balances. When the 6 months expired, I switched my balance to another card, one with a 0% APR that doesn't expire until 2006. I hope to have it paid off by then, but if not it is always possible to switch again. In this way, you avoid racking up interest charges, which is how most people end up with credit card debt they can't manage. Pay attention to the deadlines on special offers like 0% APR so you don't end up with high interest charges.

-Use the card ONLY for medical school expenses you can't cover yourself if that's the reason you're getting it. It is easy to get into the mentality that you're already spending so much or have so much debt, why not charge a few hundred for something you'll really enjoy? This is dangerous and will lead to trouble. Decide what you're going to use the card for, and only use it for those things. This will limit your debt.

-Pay more than the minimum balance each month. This is critical if you are getting interest charges, but even if you have a 0% APR on your card if you only pay the minimum balance you will basically never get the card paid off. I generally pay 4-5 times the minimum each month.


Being poor sucks, but if this is the only way you can pursue your dream don't feel guilty about it--just be smart so you don't end up with debt you can't manage. Good luck!

Edit: I just re-read your post and saw that you already have a credit card now for "personal use." Either pay that one off and get rid of it before getting another one, or use the one you have now if you can manage paying off the charges you will put on it, but I would advise against having more than one card at a time as it is too easy for things to get out of hand that way.

Also, just to clarify, I am NOT suggesting that the OP get a card and run up debt he/she has no way to pay off. Rather, I am suggesting that a 0% APR card, if used carefully, can be a better solution for those who lack other sources of funding than, for example, a personal loan, which will immediately begin accruing interest and will have to be paid back right away on the bank's terms. A card with a good introductory offer, such as a 0% first year APR, can essentially be viewed as a 0% one year loan that offers flexibility in the monthly payment schedule; this is a good thing as long as you have a plan to pay it off before starting school when you will be too poor to manage additional payments. If you are a student, it would probably be better to talk to your fin aid office about getting more funding from them, as most student loans are low interest and won't have to be paid off until you are finished with school and in a better position to do so.
 

iamgoaloriented

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jackets5 said:
Hey, i already have a credit card which i use for personal usage. I was thinking of getting another on which has O% intrest for the first year in order to use for some of the expense of applying to med school. Anyone here think of this idea and if so what card are u guys looking at. thanks
I work at a collections agency, so if you do use your credit card when applying (AMCAS is like $100+ just for the application and $30 extra for every school that you apply, the average secondary cost about $75, and for interviews you will have to travel and find someone to stay if the school doesnt have student hosting), and you don't pay your bills, I just might be giving you a call (every 20 minutes every day from 8AM-9PM until you answer, and every 7 days until you pay, which is perfectly legal by the way).

Credit cards are good for emergencies but yes, avoid using otherwise, especially if you have no income. If you can't pay for it today, what the hell makes you think youre gonna pay for it later if you have no significant source of income, and if you fall behind you will have a larger bill to pay and will never catch up and you credit will get f***ed. On one hand its nice to have for emergencies and if you use it wisely you can start building good credit, but college students typically either dont work or dont work much but have little sense when it comes to finances, so a college student with a credit card tends to be a very bad thing.

And remember, we are watching you!
 

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jackets5 said:
Hey, i already have a credit card which i use for personal usage. I was thinking of getting another on which has O% intrest for the first year in order to use for some of the expense of applying to med school. Anyone here think of this idea and if so what card are u guys looking at. thanks
I would advise against credit cards. Get a part-time job, or talk to family for money that you can pay back later if needed.

Credit cards only hurt you in the long run, especially when it comes to applying for loans.
 

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OSUdoc08 said:
Credit cards only hurt you in the long run, especially when it comes to applying for loans.
I would echo this, and expand it not only to educational-type loans. Although it may seem early for many of you to be thinking about this, if you are carrying big credit card debt through med school it can become very hard to get a mortgage on your first home.
 

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Law2Doc said:
I would echo this, and expand it not only to educational-type loans. Although it may seem early for many of you to be thinking about this, if you are carrying big credit card debt through med school it can become very hard to get a mortgage on your first home.
I would add that if you use the card wisely as detailed in earlier posts, you build credit history, and that would help on the future mortgage...i think.
 

2tall

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Attentive said:
I would add that if you use the card wisely as detailed in earlier posts, you build credit history, and that would help on the future mortgage...i think.
There are more prudent ways to acquire a mortgage than building credit history from credit cards. There are other factors involved. Since that a little off topic, I won't go there.

Again, BEST ADVICE get a(another) job. The sooner the better. If you save $50-$100 each week until June and continue thereafter, you should adequate resources to cover expenses from apps and interviews.

I don't think there is a wise way to use a credit card. In effect, it's spending money you don't have...which ain't wise at all. Credit card companies are a what???...a trillion dollar industry (or close to it) - they know how to lure people in. Statistics show that people who pay them off each month spend more money. So you're in effect paying for your frequent flyer miles with items you don't/didn't need.

SAVE MONEY for EMERGENCIES.
 

OSUdoc08

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Attentive said:
I would add that if you use the card wisely as detailed in earlier posts, you build credit history, and that would help on the future mortgage...i think.
Actually, student loans, and the repayment of them are sufficient enough to build credit. Also, as a physician, the credit is not that relevant.
 

her34

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iamgoaloriented said:
I work at a collections agency, so if you do use your credit card when applying (AMCAS is like $100+ just for the application and $30 extra for every school that you apply, the average secondary cost about $75, and for interviews you will have to travel and find someone to stay if the school doesnt have student hosting), and you don't pay your bills, I just might be giving you a call (every 20 minutes every day from 8AM-9PM until you answer, and every 7 days until you pay, which is perfectly legal by the way).

Credit cards are good for emergencies but yes, avoid using otherwise, especially if you have no income. If you can't pay for it today, what the hell makes you think youre gonna pay for it later if you have no significant source of income, and if you fall behind you will have a larger bill to pay and will never catch up and you credit will get f***ed. On one hand its nice to have for emergencies and if you use it wisely you can start building good credit, but college students typically either dont work or dont work much but have little sense when it comes to finances, so a college student with a credit card tends to be a very bad thing.

And remember, we are watching you!
frequent phone calls? is that all? don't people just stop answering the phone?
 

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2tall said:
There are more prudent ways to acquire a mortgage than building credit history from credit cards. There are other factors involved. Since that a little off topic, I won't go there.

Again, BEST ADVICE get a(another) job. The sooner the better. If you save $50-$100 each week until June and continue thereafter, you should adequate resources to cover expenses from apps and interviews.

I don't think there is a wise way to use a credit card. In effect, it's spending money you don't have...which ain't wise at all. Credit card companies are a what???...a trillion dollar industry (or close to it) - they know how to lure people in. Statistics show that people who pay them off each month spend more money. So you're in effect paying for your frequent flyer miles with items you don't/didn't need.

SAVE MONEY for EMERGENCIES.
Heh, I'm finanically ******ed in the loans department. Just echoing a comment heard earlier about a good credit history being a + for any type of loans.

Personally, I guess I just feel better carrying a credit card around when I need to buy things rather than wads of cash. Essentially, all I meant by wise use was using it as a check card. I just personally haven't converted to the check card as I can pace payment over the month if anything else comes up with the credit card. I guess to each their own.

I'd echo the sentiment of those across the thread. If you can't control your spending, a credit card is most definitely not a good idea as it makes it easier to spend. For those with more impulse control or enough money not to really care, it's a godsend as the money is gonna be spent anyway, it just gives u a more convenient tool to do so.
 

iamgoaloriented

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her34 said:
frequent phone calls? is that all? don't people just stop answering the phone?
Funny thing is a lot of them don't. Many people don't answer of course, but many people pick up every time and will yet at you. What makes it really funny is that we use an automated dialer, so when they pick up they get put on hold only to get a recording telling them to wait for the next rep, and more often than not the conversation last for a few seconds (if they say it not them, and its often them they are just lying, we will just say we'll call back and maybe ask for a time to call back). Yet they pick up every time.

That's not all though. Fees up the ass, increases in interests rates, and many companies report to the credit bureau after just one payment is missed.
 

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2tall said:
Statistics show that people who pay them off each month spend more money. So you're in effect paying for your frequent flyer miles with items you don't/didn't need.
I've heard this too. I'm one of those people that has way too many credit cards only so I can get my 1% cashback, Starbucks Coffee, Frequent Flyer Miles, etc. I always pay the cards off each month and don't spend like a drunken sailor but I do notice that it's much easier to pay extra for something, or buy something you don't really need when you're using a credit card. It's more painful to part with your cold hard cash than to just say "charge it".
I do think credit cards are excellent for building your credit history (I don't have any student loans...YET) and you can't beat the convenience. Also, living in the city, I don't feel comfortable carrying around a lot of cash, but this thread is causing me to re-evaluate all these cards I've got.
 

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OSUdoc08 said:
Also, as a physician, the credit is not that relevant.
Well, credit history is still relevant, but I am inclined to believe that it is not nearly AS relevant for a physician. A few years back I was walking through a med school library and ran into a guy I knew who was a fourth-year med student. He was graduating in a few weeks and I asked him where he was headed after graduation. He matched in anesthesiology and was house hunting. "You're buying a house?" I asked him. He said with a chuckle: "Yeah, I'm $160,000 in debt and the bank just approved me for a quarter-million dollar loan."

Anyway, I think that credit cards in general can be a huge convenience, provided that people have self-discipline. If you use it responsibly, knowing that you have the money to pay it in full at the end of the month, there is nothing wrong with that. It saves you from carrying around a lot of cash and will help you to build a credit history. But frivolous spending, especially with credit cards, is just asking for trouble. As far as zero-percent credit cards, if used wisely they can also be a valuable and convenient tool. It's basically free money to borrow for an extended period of time. If you have the cash to pay off your balance before your 0% period is up, there is nothing wrong with using it and just making the minimum payments each month. But if it is going to take you a long time to pay it off and you accrue interest and all that, it is really not worth the stress - just pay for your things with cash.