As a boy, Travis Tracy watched his mom struggle with credit card debt. Consequently, he avoided credit cards until age 23. John Bovard, Ron Strobel, and Marcus Blanchard grew up hearing horror stories about credit card debt and so they steered clear as young adults. Marguerita Cheng says she was initially afraid of credit since her father warned her early on about the risks of interest and fees. And Justin Green wasn’t taught much of anything about credit cards, so he didn’t use one until he was 22.
And yet, Tracy, Bovard, Strobel, Blanchard, Cheng and Green each grew up to be certified financial planners who now use credit cards regularly to their advantage.
Here is what these pros wish they had known earlier:
Credit cards aren’t inherently bad
Tracy, a CFP in Durham, North Carolina, and founder of Fortitude Financial Planning, grew up as the oldest child in a single-parent household. “My mom always got in trouble with credit card debt, so in my mind, it seemed like a bad idea,” he says.