The Warning Signs of Credit Card Abuse
By: Larry Goldberg
If you dread opening your mailbox everyday and run screaming every time the phone rings because it might be a bill collector, then you might have a problem with credit card abuse. Living in fear of your credit debt is just one of the signs of this serious issue. Credit card abuse is not something to take lightly, and it can leave some very negative impacts on your credit report. Here are some other indications that can point to credit card abuse:
Your monthly payments aren’t what they should be. The cardinal rule of credit card payments is they should ALWAYS be paid on time. It’s also a good idea to pay more than the minimum balance so more money is going towards your principal. If you find yourself consistently late on payments and never paying more than your minimum balance, this could be a sign of credit card abuse.
You rely on your credit card for most purchases. Most people open credit cards for big purchases, like new furniture or appliances, or to have on hand in case of emergency. Still, some use them for smaller things such as groceries or clothing. It only becomes a problem when you start to depend on your credit card for almost all of your spending because you don’t have any money in the bank. If you’re at the point where you’re whipping out your credit card for a pack of gum, then you may be developing a credit card abuse problem.
You use one credit card to pay off another. Transferring your balance from one card to another, using cash advances to pay on a card, or opening a new card altogether just to pay for another one are all indications that you could be abusing your credit accounts. While balance transfers can be useful in some situations, if you’re relying on these and the other tactics mentioned, the end result will likely not be the best, and you might end up with a bad credit report to boot. Your credit debt will still be there, and you’ll most likely increase your balance.
It’s easy to become addicted to your credit cards. The hard part is paying off all the debt you will incur and possibly having to clean up a bad credit report. Take note of your habits where it concerns your credit accounts, and watch for any signs of credit card abuse. If you think you may have a problem, it’ll be a lot easier to fix if you catch it early on.
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