The following post has been sponsored by Capital One, but all thoughts & experiences are my own. In fact, the great thing is that I’ve been a very happy customer of Capital One for years – with my business account (the account/card mentioned in the video below)!
As most of you already know, I’m no stranger to expensive car repairs. Keep in mind that anything over about $150 is expensive in my mind (one of the consequences of being broke and in debt). Well, we had to spend another $600 recently – this time on our SUV. Since we are trying to use every extra penny to pay off our debt and also build up an emergency savings account, we were putting off the repairs until they were absolutely necessary.
We had to get the air temperature door actuator replaced on our Ford Explorer – apparently, this is a common problem. We were originally told that it would cost about $750; mainly due to the labor involved – the center console and part of the dashboard had to be removed. Going through the winter without any heat is difficult in New Jersey, so once the temperature dropped down to the low 20s consistently (hitting the teens on a couple of days), we knew we couldn’t put it off any longer.
We have a credit card that is dedicated for car repairs. If our repair bill is over $299, then we have 6 months to pay off the balance before any interest is charged. So, in this case, our credit card has saved us from prematurely depleting our emergency fund or taking from our monthly budget, while allowing us to put heat in our vehicle!
We definitely plan to pay off the credit card before the 6 months are up – something that we have done each time we’ve used it – so we aren’t expecting to pay any interest for this loan. If we aren’t able to save enough in the 6 months by reducing our expenses (not likely since we don’t have many variable expenses), then we will still be in a better position to take money from our savings.
If we weren’t in debt, we would probably use credit cards for everything. We already use it for any online purchase (for security) or any other payment where we aren’t completely comfortable (like some gas stations, restaurants, etc.). Between the added security, the rewards, and the possible cash back, I am a big fan of credit cards.
Now obviously, this love only goes as far as the benefit gained combined with the responsibility of the user. To be fair, this can be said about most good things. Too much or a misuse of a good thing can easily make it detrimental. Someone once said that a credit card is like fire…useful, but handle with care.
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net