managing their debt

It might be tempting to shop around as a credit cardholder since you can buy what you want with one swipe. But you must resist the urge. The convenience of owning a credit card may come at a price when you’re not using it responsibly.

The way we use credit cards has changed over the years, but the one thing that remains is debt accumulation. When credit cards were first introduced, people its convenience. Yet, on the other hand, some people experienced massive debt.

Decades later, cardholders know better than to get carried away with instant gratification and impulsive purchases. People have become more aware of taking care of their credit scores and managing their debt. And here are some handy tips to help you do just that:

Don’t overspend

One of the advantages of owning a credit card is to build a credit score, for having a good credit score is essential in acquiring loans and mortgages. Maxing out your credit card may damage your credit score, especially when you don’t pay in full or you often miss the due date.

A great way to monitor your expenses is by using a finance tracker. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one. You can use a spreadsheet, an app or tool, or the good old pen and paper to remind you of your expenses.

By using a tracker, you will get a proper visual of how much you’re earning versus your expenses. You can also add features that allow you to categorize cash and credit expenses. Trackers are flexible, and you are free to customize them to help you prevent overspending and stick to your budget.

Read the fine print

Don’t just skim through the terms of service. The document you sign during approval contains valuable information about your account. Fees, rules, regulations, and other services that may affect or benefit you in the future are in these papers. While reading your terms of service lookout for the following:

  • Fees. The credit card company may charge certain fees for different transactions. One of these fees is the annual fee, which can be waived depending on your credit card company.
  • Payment policies. Payment periods and cutoffs are specified in the terms of service. While the due date may be indicated on the monthly statement, the agreement will state the grace period, interest rates, and penalties you may incur upon missing a bill.
  • Benefits. Credit card companies have reward programs for their customers. Some of them offer a point system, while others offer it in cashback, bonuses, and freebies. Find this part of your agreement to enjoy them as much as you can.

Pay your bills on time

Missing a payment affects your credit score. A factor determining your credit score relies on your timeliness in paying your dues. Missing it once for a few days won’t do much damage to your rating. However, you’re likely to incur additional fees.

Missing the due date can come at a hefty cost. Often, late payment fees reach up to $40. Then, the fees increase the longer you fail to pay your bill. After 60 days of non-payment, credit card companies will charge a penalty APR (annual percentage rate), which can last for a minimum of six months.

Over time, a late payment can lead to an accumulation of debt: your existing credit card balance plus fees and interest. On top of this, you could run the risk of losing benefits, such as the 0% introductory APR.

Pay your balance in full whenever you can

Keeping a massive balance on your card may be one of the red flags that can hurt your credit score. For some companies, it could mean that you’re spending more than you earn and can pay—and that’s not a good indication of a responsible credit cardholder.

Paying the minimum amount every month may just be enough to pay for interest. In this case, your credit card balance will not decrease no matter how much minimum payments you make. Worse, your balance will continue to pile up.

Claim your rewards

Part of owning a credit card is enjoying the rewards. Credit cards have a way of making you special. Companies give you exclusive deals and privileges, like miles, priority services, and discounts. Some credit cards have sign-up bonuses, introductory interest rates, and waivers of annual fees.

It helps to know the benefits that come with your card. Ask your company or pay attention to your terms of service. And, most importantly, enjoy shopping in moderation!

Swipe Responsibly

Having a good relationship with your credit card involves a tremendous amount of self-control and responsibility. For the most part, if there is the urge to keep swiping, it’s best to resist it. Otherwise, you’ll face the consequences during your billing date.

Owning a credit card boosts your credit score if you practice good credit habits such as paying your bill on time and paying it in full. So, avoid overspending by keeping track of your expenses. Make sure to understand the terms and conditions of your credit card company so that you won’t be surprised by fees and interest rates.

Credit cards aren’t necessarily bad; it all depends on the cardholder. So don’t fear it. Instead, understand how to use them properly. Remember these tips, and you’ll find yourself having the healthiest relationship with your credit card.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.