Like it or not, we are living in a credit card culture, they seem to be almost everywhere today. Especially in your wallet. But if you make credit mistakes, you'll pay a price, and sometimes a hefty one.
There are an estimated 1.5 billion credit cards in use right now in the U.S. and if you think about it, that's a pretty big financial responsibility to be just carrying around with you. A responsibility most of us will take for granted more than once in our lives.
So, what's the big deal? Well, credit cards surly have their perks. They can earn your rewards, and come to your rescue in case of an emergency. But as 5 News learned Monday, a little carelessness can cause you some big consequences in the long term if your not careful.
"The history of their credit card payments is going to stick with them for a long time. So if they build up a bad record with the credit card
company, by paying, or not paying on time those penalties and fines that's going to cost them points on their credit rating." said Jack Oliver, CPA at Oliver and Associates in Fairmont.
So now we have a list of some everyday mistakes you make with your credit, and some tips to keep yourself safe.
-Always remember a payment due date is not a guideline, it's a deadline. So always make sure it's paid on time.
-If you have to pay the minimum payment every now and then, it's not a big deal. Just don't make it a habit.
-Try to avoid charging your card anywhere near your credit limit. Granted, here may be some life crises that require you to charge a large amount, just be sure you pay down the balance as quickly as possible.
Lastly, always read the fine print. Remember all good things come to an end, and be sure you understand your real rate when your "interest free" credit period ends.