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Credit card debt: Don’t follow in the government’s footsteps

Created: On February 14, 2011 @ 3:51 pm In

The [1] New York Times reports that Congress is gearing up to debate whether or not to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling. Hello? Isn’t it about time for our elected officials and so called leadership to start setting an example for we, the consumers? We are constantly reminded of the importance of financial prudence; meanwhile our government is spending like a fleet of drunken sailors. At some point, the government and debt-ridden consumers have to know when to say “when.” The government’s balance sheet is too big to tackle here, so let’s concentrate on reducing personal credit card debt.

Drowning in debt: Has this become America’s new favorite past time?

Recent reports of increased credit card usage among consumers seem to suggest a revival of consumer confidence, if not carelessness. Carrying credit card debt doesn’t make sense, particularly in uncertain economic times.  Here are some reasons to think twice before running up credit card debt:

  • Variable interest rates: Many credit cards carry variable interest rates, which can go up if the financial index the card is tied to increases.
  • Minimum payments and unpaid interest: Minimum credit card payments typically do not cover all of the accrued interest, and unpaid amounts are added to your unpaid credit card debt.
  • Finance charges: Although legislation has limited how and when credit card companies can impose penalty fees, these fees can add to your debt if you forget to make a payment or exceed your credit limit. If you incur a penalty fee for the first time, it’s worthwhile to call your credit card company and request a waiver of the fee.
  • Job insecurity: Financial analysts and economists report that the economy is rebounding, but unemployment remains high. Carrying credit card debt takes a bite out of your budget that can be disastrous if you lose your job or your income is reduced.
  • Temptation: Somehow paying with credit cards can lead to more spending. Avoid the temptation to spend lavishly or unnecessarily by carrying cash or a debit card instead of credit cards.
  • Emergency savings: Relying on credit cards for emergencies can create costly debt. It’s important to establish and fund an emergency savings account. The amounts you’re paying toward credit card debt could have gone to savings instead of debt.
  • Credit scores: Like it or not, [2] credit scores can impact more than your ability to qualify for loans and credit. Employers and insurance carriers may check your credit scores as part of their approval processes. Although the bad economy has thrown a monkey wrench into the allegedly reliable models used by credit scoring companies to predict consumers’ creditworthiness and overall reliability, the system remains unchanged, and poor credit scores can create more than financial problems.

Seeking [3] debt help is essential if you’re struggling with credit card debt. Contacting [4] consumer credit counseling and debt consolidation programs is the first step toward finding affordable debt management solutions. Insurmountable debt causes physical and emotional stress, can strain interpersonal relationships and cause problems at work. Don’t wait. Please get the debt help you need today.

Article printed from DebtHelp.com Blog: http://www.debthelp.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.debthelp.com/blog/2011/02/14/credit-card-debt-dont-follow-in-the-governments-footsteps/

URLs in this post:
[1] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/us/politics/12debt.html?src=twrhp
[2] credit scores: http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx
[3] debt help: http://www.debthelp.com
[4] consumer credit counseling and debt consolidation programs: http://www.debthelp.com/debt-consolidation/credit-counseling.html