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Most people are averse to using the budget facility on their credit cards because they fear incurring additional interest. But a budget facility can be very useful when you're faced with an emergency expense you aren't able to fund. It will also cost you less than a microloan, which attracts interest at 5% a month, and possibly an unsecured loan where interest can be as high as 31.25% a year if you're a high-risk customer. "But it's not for consumption spending," cautions Francois Viviers, the executive head of marketing and communications at Capitec. "Food and clothing should be settled in full at month end. When you start paying for groceries over 24 months, you should be worried." This may be why banks don't allow transactions of less than R300 on budget. A credit card is a great "enabler" when used wisely, Viviers says. But if you use it unwisely - especially the budget facility - you will find yourself in trouble quickly. Here's what most people don't know about using the credi...

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