By Emilie Papageorgiou, AFCPE-FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship InternCredit cards can wreak havoc on financial security when used irresponsibly, but when used properly, also can have many benefits! It is important for all consumers, including military families, to consider the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards before taking the plunge. Credit cards can help build a credit history, protect some purchases, and provide a backup plan when emergencies arrive. However, if cardholders are not careful, credit cards can also blow the family budget, causing unwanted debt and causing purchases to cost more due to high interest rates.The best way to reap the benefits of credit cards is to pay off the balance each month and avoid costly fees and interest. When cardholders are unable to pay off the balance in full, they should pay as much as their budget allows over the minimum payment. This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on September 6, 2013.