Best credit card advice for 2012
If you have excellent credit, ask for a lower rate on your credit card. If you don't, start by building a higher credit score.
This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner site MainStreet.
But whether or not a plastic revival will be good for consumers depends on how well they manage their accounts. To help ensure everyone stays in the black, MainStreet asked some of its favorite credit card experts to provide one piece of credit advice consumers can apply in the new year. Here's what they had to offer:
Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma -- "2012 should be the year for rebuilding credit. Consumers can take proactive steps by reviewing their credit report for errors, creating a plan to pay down any existing debt, and monitoring and tracking their credit scores to gauge their success." (Estimate your credit score for free.)
John Ulzheimer, CEO of SmartCredit.com -- "When choosing between retail store credit card debt and other general use credit card debt (like Visa or MasterCard), choose to pay off retail store card debt faster. The rate on those cards is 10 percentage points higher on average, so you'd be exhausting the most expensive debt the fastest."
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Tim Chen, CEO of Nerd Wallet -- "For those who are carrying a manageable balance, if you're paying more than 10% on your credit card, call a few local credit unions and see if they can do better. Chances are that they can beat your bank's rate, no matter where your credit stands."
Curtis Arnold, CEO of CardRatings.com -- "The first half of 2012 should be a great time to shed debt incurred in 2011, including holiday debt. There will be some great 0% (no interest) balance transfer/teaser rate offers for up to 18 months that consumers can take advantage of."
Adrian Nazari, founder and CEO of Credit Sesame -- "So many people focus on coupon-clipping and penny-pinching, yet continue overpaying on their mortgages. So in 2012, instead of wasting hours of your valuable time wondering how to split your hard-earned dollars, resolve to look at the big picture -- the big debt picture -- and you may be surprised at the savings you're able to find." (Try this calculator: Should I refinance?)
Beverly Harzog, card expert with Credit.com -- "Remember that you're the boss. If you have excellent credit and you have a credit card with a high interest rate, call the issuer and negotiate. This can be really effective if you have a few low-interest credit card offers in hand from a competitor. You're the one who decides which credit card issuer gets your business."
More on MainStreet and MSN Money:
This is the best advice? OMG you have got to be kidding me. People, its time to WAKE UP!
Step 1: Create a budget and get a visual (monhtly) on your spending.
Step 2: Cut up your credit cards
Step 3: Pay off your credit balances, then your car, then eventually your house.
Step 4: Become debt free and STOP borrowing money
Step 5: Realize that borrowing others money only makes you poor and that once you stop, your "credit rating" is total BS and now a NON-factor in your life, and you have more than enough money.
Here's the best credit card advice.
1. Get a rewards card that suits your lifestyle.
2. Use if for EVERYTHING you NEED - not want
3. Use a Checkbook register to track your spending - write down every purchase and keep every receipt until you get the bill. This way you know what you owe and know if you are over spending.
4. Pay the bill off at the end of the month
Benefit: The Credit Card companies will pay you, at a minimum 1%, to use their money to buy things you would buy anyways. (Food, gas, meds, etc...)
For things you want, save up the cash, then go and charge it. Then pay it off as soon as the bill arrives.
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