Too Many Credit Cards
To get us through rough times, we often turn to credit cards to help finance our bills for the short term. However, sometimes the short term turns into months and months of paying huge interest rates.
In Canada, credit card users have also been getting unsolicited cheques from their credit companies to use to reduce debt on other cards, and transfer the debt to the company issuing the cheques. The fact that these cheques are seen as cash advances, and charged interest immediately has caused the Canadian Government to ban them in order to help Candians with credit avoid dangerous debt.
Once we start carrying balances on various credit cards it is easy to get into the trap of paying very high interest rates on multiple cards, which not only hurts our credit rating, but also becomes very dangerous financially. Once we start missing payments or just paying the minimum on credit cards, it becomes harder and harder to get credit for things we need, such as a mortgage, university tuition for our kids, home renovations or starting a new business.
Use your Credit Cards Carefully
To avoid problems with credit cards, you need to look after your credit, choose the card that works best for you and protect yourself against identity fraud.
In these tough economic times, it is important to use our credit cards carefully. If you find yourself carrying debt on a credit card now, it is time to get some credit help. Visit CREDIT-HELP.ca for more information.
The average Canadian home carries over $96000 in debt, which on average has doubled over the last 10 years to account for over 150% of household income.
Tips to Manage your Credit Cards
Pay your credit card bills on time
Never miss a payment on your credit card bill, pay as much as you can every month and ideally never carry a balance.
Use your credit cards less often
If you find that you are carrying too much debt on credit cards, review your spending and start planning your spending, using cash for purchases and use your credit card less often.
Check your monthly statement carefully
It is very important that you review your credit card statements every month to make sure that there are no unusual charges, to review your spending and to make sure there are no errors. If you find unusual charges, contact your credit card company immediately.
Choose a credit card with the lowest interest rates
When you first get your credit card, rather than looking at the total amount of credit the company will provide you, it is better to first look at the interest rate. Choose the card with the lowest rate. If you have more than one card, transfer the balance on the higher interest rate card to the lower one to save you monthly interest.
Consolidate your debt
Rather than paying interest on multiple cards, it is vital to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly interest payments.
Protect yourself from Fraud
-Always sign your new cards immediately and destroy your old card by cutting it into many small pieces so it is impossible to reconstruct it.
-Get a shredder and shred all your old credit card receipts once you have entered them into your monthly budget. Any mail or documents with your name, address or credit information should always be shredded.
-Also, it is important that you are careful when you give out your credit card number over the phone or internet. Always look for https:// at the front of the website address before entering your credit card number.
-Call your credit card company instantly if you suspect any trouble. All credit card companies have 24 hour phone lines set up to prevent fraud and it is up to you to make sure you aren’t the victim of a credit card crime.
Research the credit card company carefully
Choose a card that suits your needs, that has no annual payment and very low interest rates. Ensure that the company behind the card uses good financial practice and does not try to trick you into signing up for a large credit limit along with very high interest rates. Be wary of department store credit cards, as these often carry the highest interest rates.
One Stop Mortgage can help
At One Stop Mortgage, our team of mortgage and credit specialists can help you consolidate your debt and begin to repair your credit.
Recently we helped a customer in Drumheller Alberta obtain a second mortgage and consolidate their debt into one small $200/month payment. This gave the family a chance to reduce their debt load more quickly by securing a low interest rate, simplify their debt payments and begin to repair their credit.
As mortgage brokers, we have access to numerous financing sources and can provide help by working hard to get you the best financial package to suit your credit needs with debt consolidation help, home equity loans and more.
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