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Millions of people have some form of credit card debt, with most individuals owing $5,000 or more in past and present credit card dues. Credit cards are essential when you need quick cash to make purchases, but they can quickly lead you to debt if you aren’t careful. The reason credit card debt is so problematic is because of the interest rates attached to these cards. Even a supposedly good card can have a 10 percent interest rate or higher, making it almost impossible to pay off your bills in a timely manner.
Because of the huge issue with credit card debt, it’s important that when you do take out a card, you’re careful with its usage and interest rate. For instance, if a new card offers a zero percent interest rate for the first few months, remember that this number will skyrocket once the new member introductory period has ended. Also, you might want to look at cards with a fixed rate as opposed to a variable one. Variable rates are great when they’re low, but they can go up significantly over the course of having the credit card open.
To avoid credit card debt, you need to pay off your bills before they’re due. Many have found that letting their credit cards become delinquent, even by just one month, automatically puts them in a precarious situation which makes it easier to spiral into a whirlwind of debt. It might help to put yourself on an automatic payment plan with your credit card company so that you don’t forget to pay. Once you forget one bill, the amount you owe doubles and it’s difficult to pay off in full, especially because of the accumulative interest charges. This isn’t to say that you should avoid credit cards altogether or close out the ones you already have, but you need to be more responsible with how they’re used. By using your credit cards only for emergency situations and then paying off any bill you owe each month, you’ll find that it’s actually enjoyable and helpful to have your very own credit card.