“Credit cards are too easy to obtain, the interest rates are too high” But even after saying this, its still the consumer who usually brings on their own credit issues. Here are some things NOT TO DO:

Do not apply for lots of cards all at one time. Unfortunately, this can be a common occurrence with young persons just getting out on their own. Those offers arrive in the mail, and its just too easy to fill out all those applications. If someone does not have a good credit history, all these applications can be a red flag and impact future big ticket purchases where credit numbers really matter.

Do not co-sign on someone else’s credit card application. Even if it’s your under 21 ‘first born’ . 9 times out of 10, it will be a BIG mistake. Non-payment means it affects your credit rating also.

Too many department store cards usually means its far too easy to shop and charge and then be faced with multiple monthly payments, usually of minimum payments and hefty interest rates and it becomes a downward financial disaster. If you have a tendency to shop like this, consider one credit card for all purchases, and find one with good benefit re-wards.

Read the fine print when applying for a new card to be sure you are aware of ‘grace periods’ with no or low interest rates. Especially important if you are transferring balances.

Read your monthly statement. Make sure everything is your purchase. Be watchful of when your payment is credited so you don’t accumulate service charges.

Avoid taking cash advances from ATMs with your credit card. The interest rates are usually high, and they start ac-cumulating the minute you accept the cash.

Shred all information regarding your credit card offers, state-ments, anything with identifying numbers.
Avoid late payments if at all possible. Set reminders on your phone calendar, if your budget will work with it, have auto-matic payments scheduled. If there are huge time issues, go talk to your bank.

Our money is important! Keep track of how you spend so you don’t get hit with big surprises!

This is part of the Park Family Insurance ongoing education series for Roseville Home Insurance and Rocklin Home Insurance, prevention is key!