Credit Card Debt
There are few among us who do not have some credit card debt. This is true now more than ever as Americans are spending more and saving less. Creditors entice us endlessly with hints about what we need and how easily they can help us get it. It is easy to fall for the low initial interest rate, or the no payment until next year offers. Understandably, credit card debt is at an all time high. What the offers that come in the daily mail don't tell you is the long-term cost of credit card debt. When you carry a balance you are essentially giving away money for the privilege of paying later. Paying later often means you pay as much as ten times the original debt. Imagine how you might put this money to better use. You can keep credit card debt to a minimum by trying some or all of the following suggestions: Distinguish between want and need Don't buy it unless you need it. If in doubt, take at least 24 hours to sort it out. Make and stick to a spending budget. Avoid impulse buying. Record credit card purchases against anticipated income. If the expense exceeds the income (other expenses such as rent included) don't buy it. Pay more than the minimum each month if you can't pay the balance in full. Establish a regular bill-paying routine. Never pay credit card bills late. Creditors monitor how you manage credit card debt. If you do not manage it responsibly (i.e. have high debt to income ratios or missed/late payments) it will cost you not only with one creditor, but with them all. Credit card companies review your credit report periodically. If it is perceived that you are having credit troubles, some or all of your creditors may raise your rates - even if you pay them on time. Also, if you plan to buy a car or house your credit behavior will significant impact monthly payments and interest rates. Credit card debt can be managed responsibly. Improve your financial future by managing your credit card debt responsibly.