Credit cards extend buying power and provide help during tough financial situations, but it can be easy to get in over your head. If it's difficult to keep up with payments, a variety of debt relief options will help you get control of your finances. Plus, there are a few steps you can take to build healthy credit card habits.
How to Use Your Credit Cards Responsibly
1. Don’t Carry a Balance
Using credit cards regularly builds up your credit score, but carrying a balance from month to month means paying interest. Over time, this can mean paying back several times what was borrowed, so try not to charge more than you can pay off every month. If you need the cards for an emergency, make an effort to pay down the balance as quickly as possible.
2. Check Statements
Reviewing your statement every month will help identify fraud and monitor spending habits. Check that you authorized all the charges, and look for frequent purchases to identify items that can be cut from your budget.
3. Keep the Balance Low
The credit reporting agencies give higher scores to borrowers who don’t max out their cards. Whenever possible, try to keep the balances below 30% of the credit limits to raise your credit score and avoid increasing debt.
4. Set Up Automatic Payments
Making payments on time is the best way to boost your credit rating and avoid unnecessary fees. If you have difficulty keeping up with due dates, set up an automatic plan to never miss a payment. It will also help you avoid rising interest rates and other penalties associated with late payments.
If debt is overwhelming your budget, Donald L. Spafford, Jr., Attorney at Law, will help you reclaim your life. For over 38 years, their team has guided Oahu residents through the debt relief process, providing personalized service and legal strategies. Visit their website for more information on their debt relief services, or call (808) 532-6300 to schedule a consultation.