Credit Card Tips


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Credit cards can be a blessing or a curse. Here are some tips to help you keep your credit cards under control.

Check your statement carefully each month for errors and possible fraud. Identity theft is common and you only have 60 days to report in writing any disputed charges. As soon as you notice an error, immediately call the issuer’s 800 number reporting your claim and send a letter “certified mail/return receipt requested” confirming your phone conversation.

Resist offers for too many cards and higher credit limits. This can work against you when applying for a bank loan, since lenders look not only at your outstanding debt but also at your available credit.

If you’re carrying a large balance on several cards, consolidate the total debt onto the card with the lowest interest rate. Use the higher rate card for purchases you intend to pay off each month. Just be sure not to run up new debt on this high interest card.

Always pay as much as you can on your debt each month. Credit card companies suggest a minimum payment because that’s how they make their money. Some companies’ minimums are even less than monthly interest due. By paying only the suggested minimum, a $3,000 debt could take as long as thirty years to pay off and cost you thousands of dollars in interest payments.

If you’re a good customer, credit card companies want your business and, therefore, are open to negotiation. If you pay in full each month, ask them to waive the annual fee. If you carry a balance and pay on time, ask for a lower interest rate. If you’re offered a card with a truly better deal, ask your present issuer to match the competitive offer. If they’re not willing to negotiate, cancel and switch to the lower interest card.

Of course, the best thing you can do is to get credit cards with no annual fee and pay off the total balance on time every month. That’s when credit cards become a real blessing.

Katie Byrd will take you by the hand and teach you the skills she's used to journey from a financially strapped, bad credit nightmare to debt free abundant living. To find out more visit:


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