Surveys found that half of American households report having trouble making even the minimum payments on their credit cards. What’s going on?
A lot of people are using credit cards for credit and not just for convenience, and they find themselves living beyond their means. So, here are 4 simple rules for using credit cards and if you can’t follow all of them, you need to perform some plastic surgery as soon as possible and stop using the cards.
- Use a credit card only for budgeted purchases. Oh yeah . . . that means you have to be living on a budget (spending plan). If you’re not, it’s going to be tough to stay out of credit card debt. If you need help with starting a budget, visit www.compass1.org and click on “Connect with a Coach.” One of our volunteer Compass Coaches will contact you online to assist you.
- Pay credit cards off on time and in full every month. This way there’s no interest charges, no late payment fees, and no debt.
- The very first month you can’t pay a credit card bill in full, take out the scissors, and destroy the card.
- Just because you can afford to buy something doesn’t mean you should. Force yourself to wait a couple of days and pray about the decision. More often than not, if it’s an impulsive decision, the impulse will go away, and you will save money.
If you are in serious credit card debt, remember what Proverbs 22:7 says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” The Lord wants us free to serve Him and not our creditors.
So, begin to “snowball” your plastic by making the minimum payments on all the cards, and focus on paying off the one with the smallest balance. If you need help from a debt repayment company, we recommend checking out www.repaydebt.org (ClearPoint). They used to be named Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta and for decades have worked with consumers helping them pay off their cards.