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How to avoid the bad about credit cards, part 1

Credit cards are powerful weapons. A weapon can be used for a positive end as well as for a negative end. Basically, consumers can end up with a glowing credit score, or they can end up with credit card debt, a low credit rating and the stress that goes along with such a situation.

A consumer affairs professional shares various credit card tips in The Huffington Post. This blog is one of two posts that we will share, giving the general but valuable advice about how to use credit cards for good and how to avoid the bad:

Punctual payments

No credit card police will pound on consumers’ doors if they miss one payment deadline by a week. Letting paying late become a habit, however, does lead to serious downfalls for consumers. Thirty days late and up will impact a credit score and add interest and late fees to the total payment due.

Minimum payment due shouldn’t be payment goal

There is a total balance due, and then there is the minimum payment due. When consumers choose to pay only a percentage of what they actually owe, they will end up paying more in the long run due to interest. This might not negatively impact their credit scores (as long as they pay on time), but the habit can be hazardous to people’s overall financial health because they are dragging debt behind them like baggage. That can be a stressful – and more expensive – way to live.

These are just two general warnings about credit card use. Our next post will contain further advice about what to avoid in order to protect a credit score and to prevent one’s life from being run by the stress of credit card debt.

As an end note, there are times and situations in life that call for what might not be the ideal use of a credit card. Debt can be the result of various types of unpredictable and emergency situations. A bankruptcy or debt relief lawyer can try to help those who get into such predicaments.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Really Dumb Things You Do With Credit Cards,” Adam Levin, July 25, 2013

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