You’ve heard the horror stories in the past. You may have personally gone down the wrong path with a credit card at some point.

There are people who will tell you that a credit card is the best financial tool they have. There are others who will tell you that using one of these has made their life more difficult.

While there are definite pros and cons associated with credit cards, here’s something to remember: it’s always a better option than turning to a loan shark.

With a credit card, you associate yourself with a legitimate bank that is governed by a high level of standards, rules, and regulations. Conversely, loan sharks don’t worry about these things. Instead, their only goal is to lend you money as a means of generating a profit.

Here are some of the many reasons why it makes sense to use a credit card, as opposed to doing business with a loan shark:

  • Variety of options. There are hundreds of credit card issuers and thousands of credit card offers. With so many options it’s much easier to find something that suits your exact wants and needs.
  • Access to a zero percent introductory rate. With a balance transfer credit card, for example, you can access a zero percent introductory rate for a period of up to 18 months. This allows you to take care of your financial troubles with no concerns of mounting interest charges. A loan shark will never offer this rate, but instead charge you 20 percent or more in order to borrow money.
  • Top of the line customer service. With a credit card you gain access to a customer service team that’s willing to answer your questions and help you get the most out of your situation. The same can’t be said for a loan shark, as this “lender” only cares about you paying them back with interest.

This isn’t to say that using a credit card is the best option for every consumer, but it always beats a loan shark.

Do you have any experience using a credit card to tackle a financial challenge? Were you happy with the end result?

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