What to Know Before Applying for a Credit Card
For most people transitioning into adulthood, it can be a little overwhelming to think about their financial future. You hear time and time again that high school doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Our current education model doesn’t teach life skills such as how to manage finances, how to find, apply and interview for a job, or how to buy a car or a house. One life skill I’d like to focus on in this blog is how individuals with disabilities should approach applying for a credit card, including determining whether this is a good idea and what to know about debt and disability benefits. Let’s take a look:
Making the Right Choice
Almost anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a credit card, but getting approved depends on how much credit you have. If your disability impacts your ability to work, you should seriously consider learning more about financial management before you apply for a credit card. At ILCNSCA, our Transition to Adulthood Program teaches students how to transition from special education to adulthood, and includes skills training such as budgeting and accessing benefits. Contact our office today to see how we can provide you with the proper training, tools, and advice to live a successful independent life.
Most people trust their credit cards a little too much in that they can quickly rack up a lot of debt without realizing and have no plan set in place to pay it off in a timely manner. It’s important to know how debt will affect you and how to spend wisely so you’re not trapped under crippling credit card debt. A good rule of thumb is to save about $200 per month, which will prepare you for unforeseen expenses down the road.
Disability Benefits and Employment
In some cases, individuals with cognitive disabilities cannot work, and thus rely on disability benefits from the government. If you do receive benefits, twice the amount of funds from your benefits in your checking account are protected by federal banking regulations. This means that if you receive $100 in benefits, $200 in your account is automatically secured, regardless of how you earned the other $100. As you may well know, these benefits often don’t leave you with enough money at the end of the month, so if you wish to pay off your credit card debt, you may struggle doing so.
At ILCNSCA, we understand that transitioning to adulthood can be scary for anyone, regardless of ability level. Most people aren’t prepared for such a rapid increase in independence, and this can lead to making difficult decisions without proper knowledge or guidance. If you are looking for help with anything regarding independent living, please don’t hesitate to contact ILCNSCA by phone at 978-741-0077, or visit our website at https://ilcnsca.org/.
This post was written by Sperling