5 Mistakes People Make With Their Credit Cards

by Jason on June 9, 2009

Your debt may be costing you more than you realize especially if you are making these 5 mistakes.  Paying off your debt is a battle you can win by bypassing these blunders:

1. Not paying the bill in full each month

This is where it all begins.  You buy something you can’t afford and think to yourself, “I get paid in two weeks, I’ll just put it on the credit card and as soon as I get the bill I will pay it off” and then something else comes up.  Your brakes go out, your washer quits working  or you find some other trinket you want to buy and you put that on your credit card too.  At the end of the of the month you receive a hefty bill and only pay what you can and wind up leaving a balance on the card that accrues interest at insane amounts. Creating a budget will go a long way in helping to avoid this problem.

2. Only paying the minimum payment

If you are paying only minimum payments on your debt, your credit card companies love you and you should be getting Christmas cards from them each year.  Paying the minimum payment will basically ensure that it will take a lifetime to pay off your debt.  You must pay more than the minimum if you want to get anywhere with your bills.

3. Not paying attention to due dates

This is easy to do because we are busy people, but making a late payment even if it is only by a few days can rack up ridiculous charges that only compound your debt.  Those annoying charges can also have an impact on your credit report.  Being vigilant about paying your debt and paying it on time is key.

4. Not paying attention to the interest paid

If more people understood how much interest they are paying to their card companies each month in interest alone, perhaps they would make a greater effort in getting these debts paid off.  Matt Jabs at DebtFreeAdventure.com takes a revealing look at his own interest payments for the month and shows how interest destroys your ability to build wealth.

5. Not negotiating with the card companies

It puzzles me that more people don’t call their card companies to negotiate with them.  You can negotiate things like interest rates, late payment fees or even payment plans.  If nothing else, it doesn’t hurt to give them a call and find out what they can do for you.  Bob Lotich at ChristianPF.com tells about his experience in  negotiating with credit card companies. 

Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but don’t make it harder on yourself by making simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. 


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