Credit Cards

Written by Jessica Duquette
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Credit Cards and How to Use Them

Most people start out with one credit card and firmly believe that they can handle credit, but they often do so without understanding what managing credit means. Credit is not money. It is immediate buying power, but it is very different from money in your checking account and it should be handled differently

Consider how easy it is to get into credit trouble. If you treat the available balance on your credit cards like cash in hand, you will be sorely disappointed. Running a card up to its limit can have dire consequences and should be avoided whenever possible. It's true that you can use a card to buy fun things or to rent a car for a trip or to give someone a nice gift, but, before you make the purchase, you should think about what it will take to repay the credit card company.

Low Monthly Payments Mean Long-Term Commitment

If you are careful, you can use your card for emergencies or for the fun things. But that means buying one big-ticket item at a time and paying it off before you add another one to your credit cards. You can actually get that bigger television if you can resist buying a new barbecue the next time you see one.

One of the best ways to manage your repayments is to pay as much more than the minimum amount due as you can. In this way, you will reduce the amount of interest you pay on your purchases and will be paying more towards the principal balance. Keeping your balance well below your credit limit is also very important for several reasons. If you do have an emergency, having some funds available is very important. In addition, if you ever need a credit limit increase, paying more than the minimum and paying it on time as well as staying below your limit is helpful.

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