5 credit card mistakes to avoid

Unwise or irresponsible use of a credit card can wreak havoc on your finances, especially if you commit these potentially costly errors.

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124Comments
Nov 6, 2012 9:43PM
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There are really only three credit card rules:  1.  Realize that you are spending real money.  2.  Don't buy stuff you don't need or can't afford.  3.  Pay off your balance in full every month.  Pretty simple, actually. 
Nov 12, 2012 11:32AM
Nov 22, 2012 1:16AM
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The goverment should follow these tips,don't spend other peoples money we don't have,especialy giving it away to countrys who hate us...sometimes unless you have a cc,,you cant purchase items or services. The late fees should be against the law..they are rediculus
Nov 12, 2012 1:00PM
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very simple.

 

If you dont have the money already in your pocket to spend, then don't use the card. If you're going to be stupid and charge money you don't have and can't pay off the bill then you basically screw yourself.

 

Interest rates don't mean anything as long as you do the smart thing and don't carry a balance.

 

I'm 23 and have had two credit cards for over two years and never had a bad experience.

Nov 12, 2012 9:16AM
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     Credit cards are better in you wallet then cash. If you lose your billfold/purse or they are stolen, you can cancel them and haven't lost money..Do a weekly budget,  monthly budget,  quarterly budget and yearly budget to keep track of your extra money you. only put on your credit card if you can pay it at the end of the pay period.  If you end up running past the pay period and have to pay fees write it down in red (the amount) on your calendar or budget book and then you will quickly see over the months how much of "your" money you "wasted". Then at the years end you will see how much you could have saved by not over spending and paying your cards off each month on time..I only carry 2 credit cards, that's all I need. Debit cards are good to, can't spend whats not there. Need to have a special account just for you debit, helps control your money....
Nov 12, 2012 2:09PM
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Sad that people don't already know these things. These are all common sense, no brainer suggestion. No wonder why we are in the bind we are in. Just sad!
Nov 12, 2012 11:33AM
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People use credit cards in this economy because they have lost their jobs and can't pay for medical bills or big expenses like car registration renewal , that's how the trouble starts. Most people don't get in trouble because they go buy trinkets.  Reality is , many people have trouble.
Nov 12, 2012 12:48PM
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The biggest mistake it forgetting that it's real money when you use it and it has to be paid back. I used 8 cards and ran up my dept to $73k then I claimed bankruptcy. Now 4 years latter I still cant get credit, a house phone in my name, electric in my name, gas in my name, car loan etc the list goes on and on. Wish I would have worked and paid it off in stead of the easy way out. It will get better in time but waiting 10 years to get credit is not so good, the rest of the world is moving on and I'm just waiting it out !
Nov 7, 2012 4:59PM
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I have one credit card for emergencies.  It is too easy to spend when you use cards.  But they do have their uses if you are sensible about it.  Did someone say that check blanks will be abolished on March 15th?  How is that going to work?  Please explain in plain English.  LOL 
Nov 12, 2012 11:03AM
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Daytons a department store in Minnesota (sold to Bloomingdales) used to have a credit card with no interest.  You could actually pay down your card on larger purchases, and buy another large purchase.  Daytons sold merchandise and moved a lot of it, and didn't make their money from interest charges.  All the current stores have to do is sell you a large purchase item and they don't care if they make money on the item because they make all the money on interest charges.  This stops buying and that stops manufacturing.
Nov 12, 2012 12:09PM
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Having credit cards is not bad. Is a way to get around when cash is not available. This does not mean that you made that money, is just a fianancial tool. When you spend with a credit card, save that amount to pay it a when you get the bill. Credit Cards are not loans, are means of payment. It will serve you to control your expenses, to keep track of your payments, to have something billed to your credit card on a monthly basis, like the newspaper, the utilities or something like that, but keep the money and pay it monthly. If you need a long time loan, then you must seek another way to get that, not the credit card, they will take unfair advantages if you use the credit card like a mean to get a loan, is not a loan.
Nov 12, 2012 2:00PM
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Certain store cards I only use when necessary for needed major purchases. I try to hold out until they are offering purchases over a certain price when it is "Interest Free" for 1  year. Then I make sure I pay the balance in full before the end of the promotion.
Nov 12, 2012 12:50PM
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Sophomoric article - parents should have told their kids this stuff at 15. There is so much information about how to use credit to your benefit that most people don't know and this article doesn't touch on any of it. 1. Don't close accounts. 2. Use credit cards. 3. Pay them off every month or more often. 4. Get your credit reports yearly or pay to get them monthly. Understand credit limit in terms of credit  score.

Nov 12, 2012 2:08PM
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Since the great recession, I have gone to cash only. I no longer support banks, corporations, and anyone else I have to have credit with.
Nov 12, 2012 12:16PM
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Transam is right,people who say not to use cards or only have one or the banks rip you off are dumb.  They probably shldn't have any cause they don't know the basics of low financing.

  So far this year I.ve redeemed over $750 in perks and lots more with rebates & such.   I have way more then 10 cards, have maxed out several, never pd late, don't pay any more then 3% interest on any(cept 09 car loan that the cheapest rate was 4.9 at time) of my loans or cards. have excellent credit (13 new car loan1.9%) and still get appl for new cards every week.  Credit is great.  Banks are out there to make money and as long as there are stupid people who break their agreements with banks by paying late, over drawing, bouncing checks and whatever,  that makes it much more possuble for banks to reward the people who know how to usr credit.  

  Remember, banks don't really care if you pay off every month, what they want is for you to use it cause they make 1-2% profit every time its used, no matter whether you pay off or not(of couse they love it if you carry a balance).

Nov 23, 2012 12:50AM
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In terms of credit, credit cards are the bicycles of borrowing (with loans/unsecured lines being cars and mortgages/equity being planes). Maxing your credit line or carrying a high balance is like taking that bicycle from New York to L.A. Is it possible? Yeah. Is it wise? Absolutely not. If you are carrying a balance on your card for more than 3 months you're doing it wrong.
As a banker, the recommendation I make to each and every one of my customers is to only use credit cards for two purposes: Monthly bills and extremely short-term purchases. Cell phone bills, electric bills, cable bills are all expenses you have EVERY month without fail. Have your credit card pay them automatically and pay that card IN FULL every month. Now you only have one bill due each month (the credit card, preferably set for the middle of the month) and your getting positive credit reports twice (for the utility and the consistently paid revolving line) without generating any new expenses! As for those short term purchases? You need gas in your car today but your paid next Friday? Use the card and pay it off immediately when your paycheck comes in.
Credit cards are fantastic products both for businesses and individuals when used CORRECTLY. Just make sure your balance is 0 at the end of the month and you'll never have to put a dime towards interest.
As a final word, Credit cards need to be open at least 7 years before they are completely beneficial to your credit (your financial reputation of honesty and dependability). Never EVER close a card that has no annual fees. Pay the balance off then cut the card up. The preferred age that lenders look for in a revolving line is 40 years, so let your cards work for you.
Nov 7, 2012 12:59PM
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1st mistake....getting a credit card so the banks can rip you off.
Nov 12, 2012 12:48PM
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OPinion1, you would be a fool not to save 15%,especially if it was a lot of money.  You fall to these bozos who write these kinds of articles.  Consider this,  a while ago they wrote articales about how you shld close inactive cards, it looks like you have an opp to spend to much, this hurts your credit;  later new articles come out saying don't close accts cause that incr your % owed to balance, that'll hurt your credit;  then later they give new reasons why you shld close accts,and so on and so forth.   These writes are like appliance & furniture makers.   You're passe if you have avacado colored appl or clothe sokas.  You gotta get with it and get stainless appl and leather couches, but now you must change to black appliances, dark colored kitchens and suede sofas. Then it'll be back to avacado(I hope not) appl and clothe sofas.

  What really matters is how you manage your cards/loans/bank accts and not really how many'.  Follow your instincts and you'll make money with these,  and won't get into trouble

Nov 22, 2012 1:19PM
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we live off of our discover card and pay it off every month. using someone else money interest free for 30 days is a good deal. we use our card for any and all purchase over $5 and pay all our monthly bills with the card to get the perks.
Nov 23, 2012 12:46PM
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Credit cards are good for three things as far as I can tell.  Getting airline tickets and renting cars.  Building a credit score.  Dealing with SHORT TERM cash flow problems.  (Maybe that's four things.)

I've read a lot of good comments here. For me it boils down to this.  Credit is like fire.  It's very useful and can improve your life if used properly.  Use it improperly, and it will burn your house down. 

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