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Credit cards can be useful financial instruments, especially if you are looking to build favorable credit after filing for bankruptcy. But the key to smart credit card use is carrying a balance that you can actually pay back. If you charge the wrong items to your credit card, you may face substantial interest rates that trap you in a cycle of debt. Here is a look at common expenses that should never be charged to your credit card:

College Tuition

More people have grown concerned about student loan debt, but charging college tuition to credit cards can be a dangerous financial decision. Low-interest student loans, scholarships, and grants are all better alternatives for financing a college education. The interest rates on credit card debt are simply too high for most college graduates to reasonably pay back, especially when interest rates are compounded.


If you find yourself owing an unexpectedly large amount in taxes, the IRS allows you to use a credit card to make payments. Even though this option may be tempting, the payment processors can collect fees between 1.88% and 2.35%. Instead, you should set up a payment plan with the IRS, as these plans offer more competitive interest rates. Currently, the IRS underpayment interest rates are 3%, which is much better than a credit card company’s standard interest rate.


The point of taking a vacation is to relax and get away from the stress of everyday life. If you charge a vacation you cannot afford to your credit card, financial problems will follow you long after your vacation is over. As you plan your family vacation, make sure to travel within your financial means, even if this means opting for camping trips or staying in budget hotels instead of large, expensive resorts.