Statistics show that the average American family owes over $8,000 in credit card debt. This is a large amount of money, especially when you consider the fact that most Americans make about $33,000 per year. The costs involved with using credit cards can be very large if you’re not responsible when using them. In this article I will discuss steps you can take in order to reduce the costs of your credit cards.
Keep The Credit Card APR Low
The interest on credit cards tend to increase at a rate which is difficult for minimum payment amounts to reduce. In the last decade many people have begun using credit cards to make large purchases and because of this the credit card industry is making billions of dollars a year, and will continue to do so in the future due to the residual income they will receive from payments made by their customers. Since the typical American only makes about $33,000 per year, it is not easy to pay off $10,000, especially when the interest continues to accrue. This puts many people into debt which make take years to pay off.
If you have an interest rate on your credit card which is higher than 19%, you will have an extremely difficult time paying it off. Because of this it is wise to avoid using credit cards which have high interest rates. If you should become late on your bills, call the company and ask if the fee can be reversed. They should reverse this charge if it is your first time being late.
Federal Bankruptcy Law
The government has also recently passed a Federal Bankruptcy law which will make it harder for people to file bankruptcy once they get in debt. If you have good credit, you can easily get a credit card which has a interest rate which is less than 10%. All you have to do is make payments on time and there shouldn’t be any problems. The problems generally start when people fail to make their payments on time. The late fees on credit cards can be as high as 30 dollars. Not making your payments on time can also cause the credit card company to raise the interest rates.
Step One To Lower Credit Card Costs
The first thing you want to do to lower the cost of your credit cards is to find a credit card company which offers the lowest interest rate. You don’t want to pay more in interest than you have to. You also want to make sure you make your payments on time. Setting up automatic debits from your bank account or using the internet to make payments is a great way to insure that your bills get paid on time. If you are making payments with checks, you should stop. They have a tendency to get lost in the mail.
Transfer Those High Balances
You will also want to move your balances from high interest credit cards to lower interest accounts. Many credit card companies offer promotions, and this is a great time to get lower interest rates. You should also use cash as much as possible. Only use your credit cards when it is absolutely necessary. You also want to pay the full amounts of your balances each month if you can. This will keep interest from getting out of hand. It would also be a good idea to avoid cash advances as much as possible.
Keeping a Clean Credit History
Doing these things will allow you to greatly reduce the cost of your credit cards. Being in debt, which you can’t get out of could almost be compared to slavery in some ways. It is ultimately the consumer who puts themselves in debt. Understanding credit cards and being responsible with them is one of the most important factors in getting good credit. Your employment and other factors may depend on your credit rating. Credit is an important part of our society, and it is critical that you understand how to manage it.