Credit Card Debt Information - The Best Weapon

Credit card debt information is a must in order to handle credit in a responsible manner.  Using credit cards should not bring you harm.  They are not really bad for they enable us to have the convenience to buy things on sale without having to carry cash.  Most often they offer you cash back for the purchases you make.

However, they have to be handled properly.  There are lots of information to be absorbed before getting into the habit of using them. Some people think there are things they, meaning the providers, don't want you to know about.  And we will let you know of these issues as we go along building this site.

There won't be any issues if we pay the full balance every month.  This way you will never pay interest.  They say that credit card companies do not care for people who pay off their balance in full every month.  I personally have not experienced this.  But someone who works at Dillard's told us that his credit card was suspended because of this very issue.

It seems true though that the providers almost want you to miss your payment date.  Why did I say that?  It is because most have shortened the grace period and some do not have them at all.  My greatest fear is if they stop allowing us to pay online.  Then it is so easy to be late in payment because of the snail mail.  You follow me?

Really I am almost getting paranoid about this.  I will digress a bit but this can happen to any credit card provider.  One big telecommunication company has made it difficult to pay the bill online; one time their site to pay online was out of order for three whole months.  They kept telling us we could pay by phone but they charge for this service.  I heard that some credit cards charge for this service almost $20.00.

If you feel bad because you don't pay your full credit card balance in full, don't because there are many of us out there in the same boat.  That is why I thought of giving out the credit card debt information on this page to help you understand some of the things we do not get from the disclosure statement in fine print.  Here they are:

  • Your APR's (by the way that means annual percentage rate) may go up if you forget to pay any creditor on due date, when your payment is not honored or if you go over your credit line. Be very careful of this because once you are late with one creditor, all of them will increase their rate to the stratosphere of between 20 and 30% range. I don't know about you but with those rates, it will be difficult to get out of debt. So read the monthly bill and see what you're paying. If there is anything that is not easily understood, call the customer service; they're very good at explaining things.
  • There are different rates for different ways of using the card. Balance transfers and regular purchases have the same rate while cash advances have the highest rate of 20% and sometimes even higher.
  • Watch the credit limit because it can go down just like that and if you carry a balance, it could lead you to above the limit which has high interest penalty.
  • Payments you make are allocated to pay the part that has low APR and on to the next so the part with the high interest rate will accumulate more interest.
  • Don't use the cash advance for it incurs the highest rate. Remember that balance transfer and late payment incurs fees as well.
  • They can change the fine prints at anytime so be watchful. Once you receive notice of the change, get the customer service to explain which pertains to you so you can act accordingly.
There you have some of the rules to watch out for. Credit cards can be useful as I mentioned before but you have to understand the ramification of every step you take regarding their use. Make sure you ask the customer service for any clarification of the credit card debt information.

By Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman

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