:: Tips in Managing Your Credit Card Debt.::
Pay your credit card bills on time. This is the single most important thing you can do to preserve and enhance your credit rating. Always pay at least your minimum payment and allow time for your payment to reach the company if you are using the mail.
If possible, pay off your balance in full each month. If this is not possible, then make as large a payment as you can comfortably afford. Paying off or paying down your balance is a sound financial move—one that will save you money on interest charges.
If you can’t pay off your balance in full, then slow down on your credit card use for the next while. Take time to step back and have a careful look at how much you earn and how much you spend each month. A little budgeting can save you big money down the road.
Check your statement carefully each month. Review your statement carefully. Do all the charges look correct? Have any required credits been applied? Are there any unusual or unexpected charges? Your credit card company will correct legitimate errors, but only if you bring them to their attention in a timely manner before you pay your bill.
Transfer your balance to a card with a lower interest rate. If you have two or more credit cards with outstanding balances, consider moving the outstanding balances to the card with the lowest interest rate. You will save money each month and simplify your record keeping by receiving only one bill.
Negotiate for a lower rate with your credit card company. If you have a good credit history, you are a valuable asset to your credit card company. Call them and seek ways to lower your interest rate. This is often possible, but never advertised. If the interest rate you are currently paying is very high, imply you may cancel the card and go with a competitor unless they adjust your rate downward. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you may be surprised at the results.
Get the right card
With all the choices in cards available, chances are good,very good, you can find a better card for your needs. Today’s cards can save you money, offer better features, and even support a cause you believe in. Here are some tips on finding the right card and where to check that you have the best card for your needs.
Be alert for companies offering a great interest rate for transferring your existing balance to their card. Usually these rates are only in effect for a short time, often six months. At the end of this time, the rate can revert to a much higher permanent rate. Keep your eye on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR); this is the figure that counts in the long run.
Lower is better: read the fine print and find the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This is the interest rate the companies charge you if you carry a balance. You want the lowest rate possible; as each percentage point drop will save you money on the months you have an outstanding balance.
Nothing can be better: Try for a credit card that does not charge an annual fee. Many credit cards charge you a fee each year to use their cards. While this may be offset by other benefits the card may offer, you can find cards that do not charge this annual fee. Why pay for the privilege of using a credit card when you don’t have to?
Explore the options: Today’s cards offer a wide range of excellent features, including frequent flier points, programs that bank points toward a new car, and cards that support charitable organizations. Other options worth having include car rental insurance coverage, trip cancellation coverage, and extended warranty coverage.