Graduating from college is no easy feat. Neither is finding a job in the densely populated, highly competitive job market in Pakistan. And once you graduate, the entire family is looking up to you to provide towards the household budget. In all that, your dreams to have that fancy luxury watch or that latest iPhone can go down the drain, very quickly!
Personal finance management becomes critical the minute your graduate degree is handed to you and you land your first job. Sometimes, taking a little bit of credit can help you leverage in managing your expenses more effectively.
Read more to learn about credit card options, how to find the right credit card, why you should own a credit card, and how it can help with your personal finances.
Do You Even Need A Credit Card?
Credit cards are not as scary as your parents may make it sound like. Being leery of opting for a credit card deprives you of some great advantages. The biggest advantage you can get from a credit card is a strong credit history.
Whenever you plan to apply for a loan, your credit history will be checked. Having no credit history makes it difficult for the bank to determine your credit worthiness. It is important to get into the system and build a history. In order to build a positive credit history, you need to be making payments on time and maintaining consistency. This will help you in the future when you need financing for bigger items such as cars or homes later on in life.
How Will Your Credit Card Help With Personal Finances?
Personal finances are all about juggling your income and expenses to meet your needs. Credit cards can be a great way to ease your expenses while you wait for your salary to arrive in your account. They can also be helpful during an emergency expense that you couldn’t have planned for, during the month, like a medical emergency or repairs that crop up suddenly.
Banks also come up with great deals and discounts on cards both locally and internally. Having a credit card means you may be able to obtain some great food and shopping discounts, not available with cash purchases, allowing you to save on your purchases.
For a fresh graduate or someone in the early years of their career, credit cards can be a great boost to personal finance management. They can help taper off the edge of a larger expense. Some cards also offer instalment plans as well for bigger expenses like on cell phones, household appliances and electronics. This can help in purchasing items for which you may not be able to pay an upfront cash amount.
Are You Even Eligible For A Credit Card?
If you have been living a credit free life, you may be surprised to know that most fresh graduates are eligible for a credit card. Most cards have a minimum eligibility age and salary requirement, that you are 21 years of old, and earn up to PKR 25,000 to PKR 40,000 (This varies bank to bank). Generally, if you are consistently employed as a permanent employee for about 3-6 months, or self-employed for the past two years, you’re eligible for credit cards in Pakistan. However, do note that under the self-employed category you must be able to show that your business is registered, (i.e. you have an NTN, or bank account on the company/business name).
Most banks have varying bank policies against which they will evaluate your credit card application. If you’ve been meticulous about your personal finance management and have a good credit history (or zero history), banks accept credit card applications rather quickly. The turnaround time is approximately 7 to 15 working days for a credit card application to be accepted.
How to Find The Right Card?
Finding the right credit card can be tricky. Some key elements to look for include the benefits you need. Discounts and deals, versus air miles, and reward points versus cash back deals, credit cards have different features and benefits. You should also evaluate the annual fee, maintenance fee, late payment fee, APR (Annual Percentage rate on your late payments) and any other charges that the card will charge you. Look for a low fixed fee and low monthly APR to make a choice that will cost you the least.
The Pakistani credit card market has quite a few options with several banks offering multiple types of credit card choices. Each has their own eligibility criteria and benefits.
Looking for more information on the right credit card and all the advantages they offer? Check out our card listing that can help you find the right credit card option or you can check out credit card reviews by our experts.