If you’re looking for tips about staying out of credit card purgatory or you want to climb out, Sara Parker with Utah Central Credit Union offers some advice.
Some extra help is available as an Online Extra. This includes some step by step guidelines to know when to use credit and how to pay off the debt. Those can be downloaded from the Studio 5 Home page under the “Online Extra”.
If you’re deep in debt:
• Keep one credit card for emergencies only; cut up the rest -but don’t cancel them.
• Pay more than the minimum amount due each month or, if you can, pay the entire balance.
• Pay your credit card bill on time – earlier, if possible.
• Reduce your interest rate by calling the credit card company and requesting it.
• Pay for items with cash.
• Keep your credit card debt at 50% or below your credit limits.
• Destroy credit card applications received in the mail.
• Keep track of your expenses by maintaining a budget.
To avoid credit card debt:
• Don’t carry a credit card with you; you won’t be tempted to make purchases that will only deepen your debt, and you won’t inadvertently lose it somewhere.
• Don’t shop online unless you’re sure of the website’s security.
• Don’t apply for in-store credit cards; they usually carry high interest rates. Besides, most stores accept the major credit cards, so you don’t really need the smaller cards anyway.
• Don’t cancel credit card accounts even though you owe nothing on them. It could hurt your credit score, especially if you close older accounts.
• Don’t charge anything unless you can pay for it in full.
For more information on Utah Central and their locations, you can visit them at www.utahcentral.com.