Manage Your Money

Master the skills that can help you manage money throughout life.

Learn the ABCs of Credit Cards

Establish a strategy to manage and reduce credit card debt

To get a credit card with the best terms, including low interest rates and no annual fees, shop around. And before you sign up, make sure you understand all terms, especially those related to late fees and variable interest rates. Here are some recommended practices when it comes to obtaining a credit card.

Wise credit card practices

  • Get answers to these questions before applying
    • What is the annual percentage rate (APR)?
    • Is there an application fee?
    • What is the late fee?
    • Is there a charge for cash advances?
  • Monitor your credit card spending and avoid credit card abuse.
  • Only have one credit card and use it only for predetermined emergencies.
  • Pay more than the minimum balance each month. Try to pay off the balance.
  • Pay on time to avoid late charges. Avoid cash advances (loans with higher interest rates).

Consequences of bad credit

Don't let the convenience of credit cards tempt you to live beyond your means. Excessive credit card debt and late payments can have negative consequences including these:

  • Damaged credit rating
  • Difficulties in obtaining future credit and increased costs for future credit
  • Limits to your options for investing money
  • Negative impact on your quality of life

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