MORE ON MSN MONEY
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
...credit is slavery...bide your time...save your money and pay cash for everything...
.......we have been brainwashed into believing the "ME, MORE, NOW Society values, are in our best interest - these values are not in the best interests of the human species.
If you lack self control and willpower, don't use credit cards. I learned about credit cards and interest at an early age when I snooped and looked at my parents' bills. They would make minimum payments and then they would consolidate everything with HFC but also continue to use their credit cards resulting in even more bills to pay and more money owed...interest charges at the time were astounding and the minimum payment owed didn't even cover the interest. This was before some of the changes. This was an eye opener for me at an early age.
One big tip is to live below your means: just because you think you can swing it, doesn't mean you have to buy it. Do you need it? Do you have room for it? Can you really afford it (if you had to use cash to buy it, could you still manage to pay for your necessary living expenses?) If the answer to any one of these is " no", you're best off just walking away.
On the other hand, if you are able to manage (don't kid yourself here...I know people who would want others to think they can...be honest with yourself), you can make credit cards work for you via mileage, cash back rebate cards, etc. We pay off our balances every month and as a result do not pay interest. I haven't had to pay for my Costco membership ever since I got their Executive Amex with no annual fee. Not only do you get cash back from Costco, you get cash back from Amex. When I first got it, I was unsure if I'd charge enough to make it worthwhile but figured even if I got back enough to cover half of the Executive fee, it wouldn't cost any more than the regular membership. Their Amex also adds on to manufacturer warranties for items purchased. I have had to use this once, and it was worthwhile when the DVD on a fairly new desktop went out.
Be aware, 68% of the Banks profits are from customers' "mistakes" hidden fees and assorted hidden charges. Do not trust them, double check your accounts at least once every day!...
they are there to make money,dont blame the cards for YOUR mistakes,i have stack of them,some for fifteen years or more,had a problem once,it was not the cards fault,just me,i still use them,
One way you can make a credit card "work for you"...Every now and then...a card company will offer a deal where you can transfer balances from a 'high interest' card and pay 0% interest for 12 months.
I transferred the balance of my auto loan at my credit union to a card and paid every cent I could spare to get the balance lower. (The whole payment goes to reduce the principal ) When that year was running out, I did the same deal with the remaining balance onto a different card and I will have my car paid off in just three more months!!! Three years to be car payment free instead of six. I figure I have saved several thousand $$$ in interest charges.
I asked American Express to let my daughter in the VA Tech Marching Band charge a meal in Miami at the Orange Bowl. They agreed. When my daughter attempted to charge a meal, American Express reneged. So I cancelled my accounts' with them.. American Express can go bankrupt for all I care.
I charge it, I try and pay it thus far. Other than that I have saved a ton of money on rental car insurance. That value benefit alone wipes out whatever interest I've paid over the decades... I'm not mad at VISA or MASTERCARD. Oh, CAPITAL OneBank, them too, and Wells Fargo has been alright.
However, if you follow the rules, they can be your friend, too.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
RECENT ARTICLES ON CREDIT CARDS
Even those who don't like to shop are probably hitting the stores this month. Here's what to be on the lookout for and here's what to avoid.