Credit card debt is one of the major reasons people get in over their heads financially. In addition to medical debt – which actually ranks as the number one reason people are forced to file for bankruptcy – credit card debt can have you borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, as they say. You find yourself paying off one with the other, or borrowing more to pay one – only to rack up more debt on the new card.
Credit card debt is a vicious cycle, indeed. If you are already having a problem with credit card debt, contact a skilled debt negotiation lawyer who can take a closer look at your current situation and discuss your options. Bankruptcy may, in fact, be your only resort. However, it’s likely that there is an alternative that an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can employ to get you on the road to a healthier financial future.
If you are thinking about ways to be smarter about your credit cards, consider these points:
- Read the fine print! Yes, we know, those disclaimers are long and boring. They are also extremely important. Too many people just sign on the dotted line. This is especially true when they have their eye on a new purchase or are trying to transfer a balance. Know what you are agreeing to before you accept the line of credit – or you could make your situation worse.
- Pay your bill – on time! Failure to pay credit card bills can cost you in three major ways. Late penalties add up. Before you know it, you are paying little more than the minimum balance because of the penalties. The company will likely raise your interest rate if you don’t pay on time. That will definitely cost you more! Lastly, the impact on your credit score will hurt for a long time. At the very least, contact the credit card company and let them know you are having difficulty. They may be more understanding for a short time if you make them aware that you are trying to get the situation under control.
- Don’t use all your credit! Just because you have several credit cards, doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Your credit score is based, in part, on a debt to income ratio. You may have a lot of credit you can use, but constant card swiping without a major hike in income could signal a problem to creditor.
If you are having financial troubles, don’t wait until all hope is lost to reach out for help. Joel R. Spivack, Esq. is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ. He has assisted countless clients throughout South Jersey and Philadephia metro in managing their debt – through debt negotiation, settlement or bankruptcy. Contact him today for a free consultation about your personal situation.