You can borrow every month with credit card debt, provided you also repay the amount within a stipulated period. If not repaid on time, credit card debt can cause your credit score to fall drastically, which means borrowing becomes difficult and expensive. Although it is a common term, most people do not realize how grave credit card debt can be until they face it.
At the same time, following certain tips to manage your finances well can help you to avoid credit card debt. It’s always easier to get into credit card debt than get out of it, so here’s how to avoid it altogether:
- Scan the fine print
You are recommended to thoroughly understand all the rules and regulations of your credit card. Also, ensure that you are familiar with each term and condition of your card as well as its rewards and benefits. This will ensure that you use your credit card wisely.
- Keep a tab on the number of credit cards you own
A helpful tip to avoid credit card debt is to never open new cards or credit accounts unless you need them. A wallet with umpteen cards will drive you to splurge, and you may end up spending more than your budget. To avoid this, you need to limit the number of credit cards you have. Also, do not spend huge amounts that hit the credit limit on your card, and make it a habit to immediately pay off your credit card expenses online.
- Keep a tab on your credit reports and get any errors fixed
Credit reports give you a clear picture of your credit card debt, repayment cycle, how many inquiries your accounts have, and your lines of credit. Most banks and lenders use your credit reports to check your creditworthiness when you apply for a loan, so ensure that you know what your reports state. Additionally, credit reports may sometimes contain errors that may harm your score, so raise a dispute for any error and get it fixed to improve your scores.
- Make a rule to never make advances in cash
Using your credit card for a cash advance can result in you having to pay high rates of transaction fees and exorbitant rates of interest on the cash advances made. So, a useful tip to avoid credit card debt is to steer clear of cash advances through your credit card.
- Try to clear your bills on time
Interest, as well as a late fee, is charged in case of a late payment against credit card bills. Penalty rates can be as high as thirty percent, which can affect your scores negatively if it begins to mount. So, ensure that you pay off at least the minimum amount due on a credit card. Another tip to avoid credit card debt is to make multiple small payments throughout the month whenever possible to bring down the amount of debt.
- Work out a budget that is inclusive of credit card shopping
You must formulate a budget that also includes your credit card shopping. This will help you prevent overspending and going over your budget, which can otherwise become a reason for you to get stuck in a cycle of credit card debt.