I have to keep my credit cards hidden. I have very little impulse control when it comes to shoes. I want those beautiful, new boots immediately. So, in order to save myself the agony of getting into debt over a pair of leather riding boots, I keep my credit cards stashed away. At home. In a box that is way up high in my closet. I do it in hopes that I will keep myself from using my credit card willy nilly. If I absolutely must have whatever trinket or bob I desire, I have to leave the store in order to go home and get my card. I would say that about 89% of the time, I reconsider and never go back to get the boots. It is awesome. But, it is not fool proof and I still use plastic from time to time.
It is not surprising that most people in the US use credit cards. We like stuff. On average, an American has two credit cards. The American Bankers Association states that 42% of all credit card customers pay off their bill each month. That leaves 58% carrying a balance from month to month. Apparently, most of that 58% pay more than the minimum each month. And you should too!!!
After doing a little research for this blog, I found that it is very important to pay more than your minimum balance each month. Paying only the minimum is a red flag to the credit company, according to American Bankers Association’s Nessa Feddis. It appears that your credit card company places you in a higher risk category when you pay the minimum and that can sometimes trigger an interest rate increase, just when you don’t need it. If and when that happens, the minimum payment can also go way up in conjunction with the interest rate. Yikes!!!
In addition, if you are ever offered the option to “skip a month” of payment. DO NOT DO IT! Resist temptation. All that a skipped month of payment will do is accrue more interest, create a higher balance AND add even MORE interest owed. It is actually an invitation to give your creditor more of your money.
Always make a payment. In fact, always make a payment more than your minimum … and remove the credit card from your wallet and pay it off, if possible!
Before 2008’s recession, credit card debt was not seen as a bad thing. It was almost normal. Since then, according to this poll , all of our balances have gotten smaller. Which is great! I also found it interesting that they found:
- Males who responded to the poll said they carried a credit card balance of 55%
- Females who responded to the poll carried a credit card balance as of 60%
- 85% of respondents said they were unlikely or somewhat unlikely to talk with a stranger about credit card debt – a subject more taboo than religion, politics, salary or love life details.
You don’t have to tell me whether or not you are in the 42% of Americans that pay off their credit card monthly. You don’t have to tell me if you’re not. Regardless, let’s make a pact to pay more than minimum payments. Then let’s talk about the Packers!!!