Dave Ramsey's a Smart Guy. But This Is One Piece of Advice of His I'll Never Listen To

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Even if you don't tend to spend your time reading personal finance blogs, you've probably at least heard of Dave Ramsey. He's a well-known personality who not only has a blog of his own, but has also made countless media appearances where he's offered up a host of personal finance tips.

One thing Ramsey is known for is his anti-debt stance. Simply put, Ramsey doesn't like to see consumers burdened with heavy interest payments that limit their opportunities to save, invest, and meet other financial goals.

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I happen to agree with Ramsey in that regard. I, too, am not a fan of debt, which is why I make a point to always pay off my credit cards in full every month. I also have, in the past, tried to limit the non-credit card debt I've racked up.

When I needed to buy a new car a few years back, I made sure to purchase one that came with affordable auto loan payments. And when I bought my house about 13 years ago, I made sure to only take on a mortgage that fit easily into my budget.

But while I applaud Ramsey for encouraging consumers to avoid debt, there's one piece of advice of his that I don't agree with. And it may not work for you, either.

Avoiding credit cards entirely

If you were to ask Ramsey how many credit cards the average consumer should have, he'd tell you "zero." But I don't agree with that line of thinking at all.

There's a big difference between credit card usage and credit card debt. The latter is something consumers should try to avoid to the best of their ability. (Sometimes, credit card debt is unavoidable, such as when an emergency or illness strikes.) But it's more than possible to use credit cards and benefit from them without landing in an unfavorable financial situation.

Because I follow a tight budget and track my credit card usage regularly, I manage to avoid carrying a balance forward from month to month. As such, I'm able to avoid paying interest on my purchases.

At the same time, I get to enjoy the perks of having credit cards. I frequently earn cash back on my purchases, and in the past, I've scored some pretty sweet sign-up bonuses for spending a certain amount within months of opening new credit card accounts.

And that's why I don't follow Ramsey's "don't have any credit cards" advice. I think people who can admit that they lack self-control on the spending front should consider cutting up their cards. But if you're not one of those people, then there's no reason not to have one.

Plus, the reality is that sometimes emergencies do strike, and not everyone has money in savings to tap. Having a credit card could serve as a lifeline for situations like that outside your control.

Advice taken with a grain of salt

While Ramsey may have good intentions when he advises consumers to steer clear of credit cards, that advice doesn't work for me. And it may not work for you, either, and that's okay.

Credit cards can be a very useful financial tool that benefits you financially. And there's no reason to assume that having them will automatically land you in debt.

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