Don_t_carry_a_balance_on_credit_cards by hashournonos

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									Title:
Don't carry a balance on credit cards


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381


Summary:
Surveys shows 50 percent of credit cardholders don't pay their bills in full or on time. More than 40 percent
of credit cardholders say they don't know the interest rate on their cards. Suppose you carry a $1000 balance
from month to month. That costs you $180 in interest a year if you have a credit card with no annual fee and
an 18 percent interest rate. But many credit cards do have annual fees, especially the gold cards with the
enticing travel rewards. You'll be astounded at what you pay once you factor in the fees.



Keywords:
credit cards



Article Body:
Surveys shows 50 percent of credit cardholders don't pay their bills in full or on time. More than 40 percent
of credit cardholders say they don't know the interest rate on their cards. Suppose you carry a $1000 balance
from month to month. That costs you $180 in interest a year if you have a credit card with no annual fee and
an 18 percent interest rate. But many credit cards do have annual fees, especially the gold cards with the
enticing travel rewards. You'll be astounded at what you pay once you factor in the fees.


You're fooling yourself when you slice and dice your debt onto several credit cards. Better to have
everything in one credit card, so you know exactly what you owe. You'll have an easier time monitoring
your indebtedness and not letting it get out of control.


Here are some signs of credit card trouble:


1. You're making only the minimum payments on your accounts.


2. You're missing payments or due dates.


3. You're near the credit limit on most of your cards.


3. You're borrowing from one card to pay another.


4. You don't know how much you owe.
5.You worry a lot about money.


6. You use credit cards to meet your weekly or monthly living expenses.


7. You transfer balances from one low-rate card to another every few months, just before the introductory
offer expires.


It's time to address your financial problems if you recognize some of these patterns in your own life. Here's a
six-step program to help you get out of the trouble.


1. Be honest with yourself. Do a complete analysis of all your debts, the interest rates and terms.


2. Decide how much money you can use to pay off debt each month.


3. If there is a shortfall, consider getting a consolidation loan or line of credit at a lower rate.


4. Consider selling investments to pay off high-rate debt. If you own a house, bump up your mortgage at
renewal time.


5. Pay the minimum amount on each card. Use what's left to pay off the card with the highest rate.


6. Don't use the cards any more. Cut them up or put them into a box.


Buying everything with cash, cheques or no-overdraft debit cards forces you to confront the fact you can't
afford something. With a credit card, you can always afford it.




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