Credit Card Debt
A few other tricks I have learnt about credit cards. Number one, if
you have good credit, you probably receive applications for new
cards almost every day. Forget about those come on rates, always
go strait to the chart and check the fixed rate. If it is lower than
you're lowest card, then get it, if not, then don't. Never keep more
than about 4 or 5 cards. Once you reach 5, then start calling and
canceling the old cards with higher interest rates. Keeping to many
cards can cause a problem if you apply for a loan.
Once you have at least 4 cards, you should never pay a high rate on
a credit card again. The credit card companies will almost fight over
your dept. Take one of the cards, preferably the one with the lowest
fixed rate and no balance. Call the service number on the back.
Once you get a service representative, ask them if they are running
any special rates. They always are running 6-month come on rates
that are very low. Transfer your balance from your higher rate card
to the 6-month low rate. At the end of the six months, do it again
with a different card.
I keep a balance on two credit cards. One thing you should realize is
that when you transfer a balance for a lower interest rate, most of
the time if you make new purchases with the same card, the rate
will not apply, and the finance charge will start to get larger every
month. So it is best if you do not use the same card for new
purchases. I do my best to not use a credit card, but I usually end
up having a balance on two cards. One with a large balance and one
with a smaller balance that I carry. When it comes time for me to
transfer my larger balance, I will take as much of the balance as I
can off the smaller balance card as well and move it all to a clean
card for another six months at a lower rate.
What it all comes down to is that you have to keep an eye on your
finance charge. When you see it go up, it is time to transfer your
balance. There is usually about a $30 fee for this. I find for me it is
well worth that amount. Sometimes my finance charge is lowered by
about $40 a month. That is a lot of money that can be added to your
If there is anything I have learnt about loans including credit cards.
It is very important to keep the loan term as short as possible. It
always seems like such a good idea to keep your payment low, but
boy do those long-term loans come back to bite you. Trust me if you
don't already know this. You will always regret later getting a
long-term loan. Always take the highest payment you can afford to.
If it becomes a problem later, you can either work out a deal with
the bank or refinance. Short term to me means four years or less.