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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Credit Card Mistakes That One Should Avoid (Part 1)

Credit card can be friend as well as foe, as mentioned previously in Credit Card - Friend or Foe (Part 1), Credit Card - Friend or Foe (Part 2), Credit Card - Friend or Foe (Part 3) and Credit Card - Friend or Foe (Part 4) and while a credit card comes with numerous benefits and flexibility to one provided that the user uses it well; can be rewarding to him or her as well. Having said so, there are several costly mistakes that one should avoid at all cost - as those mistakes will eventually lead one deeper into the debt pit.

1. Avoid Paying Only the Minimum Payment
Typically on a credit card statement, one will see two type of balance due; total balance due or some known as the statement balance as well as minimum payment due. The minimum payment due is usually RM50 or 5% of the outstanding balance. Imagine only paying 5%, with 95% of the outstanding will be charged a hefty interest rate. Piling up debt in this way shows the incapable to repay the debt thus hurting the credit score and eventually when one want to take up new loan, the application might be rejected or, even if approved, the interest rate definitely will be higher.

2. Maxing Out Credit Limit
Another mistake that most credit card users have in common is to max out the credit limit given by the financial institution. As we all observed, credit limit given by the financial institution is usually twice the salary or some can go up to his or her annual pay. By maxing out the credit limit, one will have no choice but to pay only the minimum payment which eventually lead to mistake number 1.

Of course, there are times where we max out the credit limit for emergency purposes or planned spending after several years of savings, but most of the time, it is not encourage for us to max out the credit limit.

Besides that, imagine the embarrassment one might face when you go to checkout only to realized the credit card limit already max out and there is a long line and everyone else behind you is waiting for you to pay and worse still; there is not enough cash for you to top up the balance.

Finally, there are penalty charged by the financial institution for over-limit spending, although you can eventually get them to waive but you have to be a good pay master in the first place, meaning never to commit mistake 1.

As per mentioned previously in Credit Card - Friend or Foe (Part 3), credit card can be friend, and at the same time it can turn against us. Use it wisely, you will find that there are more benefit in swiping credit cards. There is no bad credit card or financial institution issuing the credit card, just bad credit card users

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