Credit cards seem to be a way of life. While most advisors say that you need to eliminate all credit card debt, I recognize that most people aren't listening to this advice. While, personally, I don't believe credit cards are a wise decision, I do recognize that if you have them, you should manage them wisely.
Start by making good decisions when it comes to your credit. Pay your bill on time every time. This is the most important thing you can do. Your credit rating will be protected and your interest rate will remain low. If you miss a payment, it will go on your credit report. And you should expect that default interest rate to be close to 30%. That isn't managing your credit wisely - it is heading for a train wreck.
If at all possible, you should pay off your balance in full each month. If you can't, make as large a payment as possible. The more you pay, the more you save on interest charges. I know a few people who purchase large items and pay them off over say three months. Hey, they pay them off, make payments on time and make wise purchasing decisions. If you have the will power, then it may be worth the cost to you. Three months of interest is a lot less than seven years.
If you aren't able to pay your balance in full, take the card out of your wallet. It's time to simply pay it off. When you pay it off, you can use it again. But for now, you need to concentrate on getting that debt down.
Don't simply toss the statement into a pile without carefully reviewing it. Read over thoroughly. Check each credit and charge. Double check the interest rate and other details. You want to make sure everything is correct. Once you pay it, you are accepting what the statement says.
If you have two or more credit cards with outstanding balances, you may want to consider moving the balances to a card with a lower interest rate. But if you've had one of the cards for a long time, you might want to keep it open to keep your credit history long. But don't go out and charge on it. It goes in a safe deposit box where you can't use it.
If you have a good credit history, you should call your credit card company for rate decreases. Do this fairly frequently. It never hurts to ask. I just did it for the first time, and the company was so friendly and helpful. We significantly lowerd my interest rate on my emergency credit card. If I have to use it, I won't feel so bad now.
Credit cards are used by many people. You have to be careful. Most people find that credit card debt gets out of hand way too easily. If you are able to manage your credit cards, then good for you. Just remember, if you didn't have them, you wouldn't need to manage them at all. Make paying off the debt your main goal, and it will save you money.
Martin Lukac represents http://www.RateEmpire.com and http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com , a finance web-company specializing in real estate and mortgage rates. We specialize in daily updates, mortgage news, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!