Credit Card Savy

Credit cards can be a wonderful asset or doom your frugal living goals. There are a few things you may want to consider before using your card. I am working at paying off mine and then using them more wisely to build my credit score and to save my bank account, no more interest payments.

If you're a regular credit card user it may be time to curtail your use of the plastic. Due to the high cost of credit card fees to merchants the merchants sued the credit card companies. The high cost of these fees has been one of the reasons many merchants will no longer accept credit card purchases, especially online. As a result of a recent court settlement merchants in 40 states are now allowed to add a surcharge of up to 4% on any purchase made with a credit card to help off set these fees. Legally these charges need to appear on your receipt. Ask before making a purchase and check carefully before finalizing a purchase online.

Balance transfers can work in your favor if the interest you save outweighs the transfer fees. Otherwise, when the low introductory rate goes up, possibly to more than that of the card you’re transferring the debt from, you may end up paying more interest than you would have on the original card. Transfer balances only if you can pay them off before the rates go up.

Once cards are paid off use them once a month for a small amount of money, a trip to the gas station or grocery store for example, and pay them off every month. This will preserve your credit score but won't add expenses to your budget. If you fail to use your card it may be canceled leaving you with a poor debt to credit ratio.

Finally check your credit score and correct any mistakes. Today when we checked our employer is listed as a company we worked for 15 years ago. Our last known address was listed in a state we have never lived in. Funny thing is the last time we checked this was not the case. These companies make lots and lots of mistakes but unfortunately the ability we have to borrow money depends on these companies. 

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