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How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest


It’s no mystery that credit card companies charge interest on outstanding balances. And most credit card users are at least nominally familiar with their credit card’s APR (annual percentage rate). You carry a balance, you get charged interest—simple enough.   Beyond that, things start getting a little murky. How is your APR determined? How do interest charges get calculated? And at what point does your balance start accruing interest charges anyway?   Confusion spells costs when it comes to credit card use. It’s hard to avoid paying interest if you have no clue how and why it’s being charged in the first place.   So if you really want to minimize the cost of credit, you’ll have to understand how exactly credit card interest makes its way onto your monthly … [Read more...]

Trouble in paradise: Quarrels over credit


Ah, summer, the season of romantic adventures and lazy mornings. It’s the perfect time to take your special someone on a romantic getaway or relax together by the pool. Sounds blissful.     Now say you’ve been with this special someone for a while now. Say the honeymoon period is over and things are starting to get a bit serious. When you used to talk about dropping everything and traveling the world together, now those hopes and dreams have taken on more than a touch of reality: buying a car, owning a home, starting a family. And you know it won’t be long before that special question arises: “What is your credit score?”     Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Financial health has always been a consideration in relationships. But in recent years, credit has … [Read more...]

A Diet for Your Debt


Are you still feeling the impact of the holidays? That extra helping of turkey or that second or third cookie might have inspired you to make a resolution about losing weight.   But that's not the only place where we could use a little trimming. Our credit might also feel bloated and overweight after a Christmas season of extra spending. And when we get that credit card statement in the mail, it feels the same as adjusting your belt buckle – not good! So if you've been making a weight-related New Year's resolution, perhaps it's time to put your credit on a much-needed diet as well.   If your credit card statements are bulging, one of the first things you should do is make a plan to pay them off as quickly as possible. After all, failing to pay off your Christmas debt … [Read more...]

8 Tips for Smart Holiday Spending


As the economy continues to sluggishly recover, each year around Black Friday retailers fret that shoppers will forgo holiday gift shopping, or drastically cut back on spending. However, a recent myFICO survey  indicated that while folks plan to flex their credit cards this holiday season, most are planning a modest budget — 65% of respondents said they’d expect to charge less than $500 on their credit cards this year. That’s good news for retailers and for shoppers’ credit health. But it’s one thing to plan not to overspend, and another thing to successfully execute said plan. How many of us plan not to overindulge on treats at holiday parties, but inadvertently wind up with a belly ache, a scattering of red & green crumbs around our shirt, wondering how we managed to pack in that … [Read more...]

Trim Your Budget and Pay Down Credit Debt


Recent reports confirm that credit card debt among Americans remains on the rise. Not only are more of us dipping into debt, but we're also falling further behind than ever, with the average debtor owing nearly $15,000.   Concerns are real and there's a growing sense of urgency to tackle the problem, with the best solutions revolving around getting organized, making a personal budget, and paying down those bloated balances.   The only problem is: Where does the extra money come from month after month?   By taking a thorough approach, committing to change, and staying true, it's possible for the majority of us to trim our budgets and erase debt. If you're struggling to get started, you may not realize that there are a number of solutions that may work for … [Read more...]

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