Steps to Keep Your Credit Card Debt Under Control
Credit cards are an easy way to pay for the items you want. But, they come with a few problems that can sting you later. If you do not pay them off every month, interest rates can increase the amounts you owe very quickly.
Stated by Important Credit News, credit card companies entice us to sign up for limited-time, zero-interest periods, or for programs that offer points that accrue as we spend. But, if you do not pay attention to your credit card bills, they can quickly get out of control.
Instead, there are steps you should follow to manage your credit cards and keep your bills in control. With a few simple steps and some self-control, you can better manage your credit cards.
Make Your Payments on Time
The number-one rule for managing your credit cards is to make your payments on time. If you cannot pay the entire amount you owe each month, you should at least make a monthly payment by the due date. If you miss payments or make late payments, the credit card company will charge late fees. Every late fee gets added into the balance, and the interest rates make those fees add up quickly.
Pay Off Each Month
If you really want to take control of your credit cards, you should pay them off each month. This means only charging what you can afford, not what you want to afford. You might have to find some self-restraint and not spend more than you can afford. Consider your credit card as a cash card, so you do not overdo it.
Stay Away from the Minimum Payment
If you are unable to pay off the entire amount, then you should try to pay more than the minimum. The credit card companies make money off of the interest that you pay, so they make the minimums just enough so that the balance barely drops. This way, they can collect more interest, and make their shareholders happy.
No Cash Withdrawals
Many credit card companies offer cash withdrawals. If you need cash, do not use your credit card because you will pay a higher fee and more interest in that money. Use your bank account, even if you have to use an ATM that charges you $3 to access your cash.
No Recurring Payments
Another way to get control of your credit cards is to avoid making recurring payments on them. Your cable bill or newspaper bill should come out of your bank account, so you have more control over them and you never have to worry about paying interest on those bills. It becomes easy to forget about those recurring payments, and they might force you to make minimum payments rather than paying off the account in full each month.
Protect Your Account
Finally, you should keep your credit accounts safe. This means not sharing your PIN with anyone. If you pay for items online, be sure the account is safe. Remember that people want to steal information, especially bank accounts and credit card information.