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Eight Ways to Begin Responsible Credit Card Activities

by Tisha Tolar on May 13, 2009

Looking for a way to jump-start responsible credit card activities?  Everyone needs to make adjustments in order to make sure that their accounts are in good standing.  These eight things will help you do just that.

Organize your credit card accounts.  Get your most recent statements, terms and conditions all together and look them over.  List all of your credit cards on paper and prioritize them by balance owed, credit limit amount and interest rate being charged.  Make sure that you have the card name and phone number as well so that you can contact the card issuer anytime that you need.

Set small attainable goals.  Begin to make progress towards responsibility by eliminating credit card debt.  Start with small short term goals to help you get going.  Move towards the higher balance cards and break these down into monthly goals.

Call for assistance.  Contact your credit card issuers and find out if you can get lower interest rates on your cards.  This will probably only work if you have a very good track record with them.  If you are having problems paying your bill, let them know and find out what they can do to help you.

Pay on time.  Avoid being late on payments.  This will keep you from incurring fees every month which adds to your balances.  Also, being late will cause your account to be flagged by the card issuer and you could incur higher interest rates as a result.

Pay more than the minimum.  Treading water on your credit card accounts is not good, because at some point, you will have to pay them off, so it is better to pay more than the minimum if at all possible.  Use a method such as paying the minimum plus ten percent as a base line amount.  This way, at least you will be making some progress towards paying down the balance.

Pay off balances.  With your smallest balances, pay them off as soon as you can.  It will help give you a sense of accomplishment and will help propel you on to the next card on your list.  This also is good for your credit standing with the card company.  It means that you are a responsible card member and you can use this information later if you need to try to negotiate better rates and terms or in attempting to get them to eliminate a particular fee on your account.

Consolidate if you can.  The ability to perform balance transfers is a nice feature and can help you put multiple balances onto one card and account from which you can begin to pay down and eliminate the debt.  Be sure not to use the card for purchases, however, as it will only add to what you already owe and become a nightmare to try to pay off.

Know the rules and play by them.  Credit card ownership has become a more difficult thing to manage and keep straight in your busy life.  But in order to be successful at it, you must take the steps above and work them so that you will not find yourself in serious trouble with your accounts.  You can do it with measurable steps and procedures.

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Credit Card Debt Jim May 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm

closing credit card accounts is a great simple idea in not having so many options in charging…

I like the 10% rule, nice one.

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