Credit cards can prove to be of great help during financial crisis, but if used in the wrong way can put anyone into a never ending distress in terms of credit rating. The Colorado society of CPA’s highlights the most common credit card mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Credit card terms and rates change very frequently, so it is a must for the debtor to keep a track of the changes so that they are aware of the rates in advance. One should discuss the rates in advance with the card issuer. There can be instances where the debtor can even negotiate for lower rates if he is aware of the possible changes.
2. Many customers opt for credit cards for wrong reasons; they choose a card to get discounts and offers, but fail to check for the interest rates and the fee structure and land up in paying much more in fees and interest rates. If customers in the first instance consider opting for cards which are without any fees or with low interest rates they would have saved themselves.
3. At times customers are of the view that they would get some kind of promotional offers and discounts, but it hardly takes time for the rates to fluctuate and become more that the expected one. This can also be graded under Misled by introductory rates.
4. It is important to check out for each minute details associated with the credit cards like the grace period, the fee schedule, the interest rates etc. Once the activation is done it would prove to be difficult. All the information should be read properly and in case if something is found to be inappropriate one can switch over to a different lender.
5. One mistake that is usually made by the customers is that they pay the minimum amount. This way the repayment period extends adding to the overall interest rates. One way to come out of this is to make the maximum payment every month so that the credit card debts can be quickly paid off.
6. Taking cash advances is another mistake that customers do by using their credit cards as the interest rates are very high as well as the service fees.
7. Being late with payments is another mistake that the customers make. Credit card companies charge a high rate of late fees of nearly $30 even if the customer is a day late. Cash should be paid in advance to avoid any kind of late fees. Even if a last minute payment is made, a very low amount will be incurred as the late fees.
8. The other reason being that of having more than one credit card. If there are cards which are not in use they should be closed down .Too many cards can make the lenders think of the amount of mortgage the person has which might create the possibility of not getting loans during financial crisis.
9. There are a lot of customers who fail to check their itemized statement every month. This is again a disaster as there will be no correspondence and the customer will be left in total darkness if there is any fault or mistake in the statement. It would be too late when discovered!
10. A good credit rating is essential so every effort is to be made in order to keep the credit report clean. If one feels that he is knee deep in debts he should contact a settlement company without delay and settle them off as soon as possible.