If you want to be the master of your credit card debt load, follow these key rules:
1. Take inventory. How many credit cards do you have? What’s the balance and minimum monthly payment on each? What’s the total balance? If it is more than you thought or can afford, then it is time to cut down.
2. Check out the cost of your credit cards. What is the interest rate on each card? What is the annual fee? Does your card offer a grace period? If the card does not have a grace period, or if you carry over a balance, or take a cash advance, then you are usually charged interest right away.
3. Get one low-fee or lower-interest card and use it wisely. Make DoverPhila Federal Credit Union your first stop when starting your search. Check to see if you can transfer existing debt from your various credit cards to your new lower-interest credit card.
4. Make the largest monthly payment you can afford. Even though you may not be able to pay your balance in full, paying the monthly minimum may do little more than cover the accrued interest.
5. Watch out for “teaser rates.” Your mailbox may be brimming with unsolicited credit card offers that promise attractive low-interest rates. But if you read the fine print, you will see that after six months or so the issuer may double the low introductory rate.
6. If you get in over your head, do not bury it in the sand. If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, then contact your creditors before they contact you. If you are already screening calls from bill collectors or refusing to open your mail, then you need help.
Contact Fred Weingarth at DoverPhila Federal Credit Union. He can help you get your finances back on track.