For many people, using credit cards is a way of life. Most people today instead of carrying around cash carry around plastic. It certainly is easier and more convenient. While many people use their credit cards wisely, others are not so careful. If you do not pay close attention you could find yourself buried in unwanted credit card debt and unwanted credit fees. This can cause unwanted stress. Here are some tips to help you avoid credit card pitfalls.
First, make sure you know your due date. With the new credit card regulations this will be easy as your credit card bill must now be due the same day each month. Most credit card companies offer an email reminder that is sent to you just a few days before your due date. If you are known for missing payments this is a good thing to sign up for. Writing the due date on your calendar is another helpful way to remind yourself not to miss your payment.
Another option with many credit card companies offer is to set up automatic payments from your checking account each month. As a word of caution, if you choose this option make sure that you have the money in your account the day it will be taken out. Repercussions of missing your due date are severe. You will rack up late payment fees and interest charges. This in turn can affect your credit report and score. If you always pay your bill on time and miss once, call your card holder immediately. Sometimes they will reverse the fee and interest charges one time for you.
The second credit card mistake to avoid is not paying your balance in full each and every month. This seems to be the biggest pitfall that credit card holder make each month. When you don’t pay you bill in full each month you get charged interest finance charges. You then have to start digging yourself out of the black hole of what is known as credit card debt.
Simple common sense can help you avoid this costly credit card mistake. Don’t charge more than what you can truly pay off each month. While it is so easy to say I will pay for it later, you must avoid this at all costs if you want to use your credit card wisely. Only charge what you need and what you have budgeted for. Setting up a simple monthly expense budget can be very helpful in avoiding this credit card mistake.
A third credit card mistake to avoid is ignoring your credit card debt. So many people each month pull out their plastic without a thought in the world and spend uncontrollably. Before they know it they have thousands of dollars in credit card debt and instead of taking control they spend more and avoid the problem.
If you have racked up credit card debt, the sooner you take control the sooner you can wipe it out and live a less stressful life. Following the above tips will get you a start on not racking up more debt. Coupled with that you will need to develop a plan to start paying off what you have charged. A monthly budget is a great first step. Giving up luxuries for awhile and instead paying down your debt each month is a great way to start.
Many find that in order to get control that they need to give up using their plastic all together, at least until they have paid off what they owe. Still others are so buried, they find it easiest to seek professional help. If you are in credit card debt, no matter what method you choose to get out, it will be worth it.