Review your credit card statement
Understanding your credit card statements and interest charges can be overwhelming and confusing. Be sure to review the interest rate, statement balance and current balance.
How to avoid paying interest
Some options to avoid interest charges include:
- Paying off your statement balance (the amount from your last statement cycle) each month.
- Paying off the current balance (the amount of all up to date transactions) will also help you to avoid paying interest.
How to reduce interest
Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of paying enough of the balance to avoid interest. At those times there are strategies to keep your interest rate lower.
- Paying at least the minimum payment due or an amount to reduce the balance to reduce the amount of interest charged.
- Make a payment on or before the due date shown on the statement.
- Explore credit cards with lower interest rates and fees.
- Explore balance transfer options to help reduce the interest rate you pay.
Use your credit card wisely
Being mindful of your credit card use can be done in many ways. Here are a few:
- Stick to a budget. Only spend what you can afford.
- Build your credit score by obtaining and using your credit cards.
- Minimize using your credit card and use the debit feature when possible.
- Track your expenses and only spend what you know you can pay off each month.
- Review your credit card expenditures every month and follow up on any errors you may find on your statement.
- Pay off the balance when possible.
- Set up auto pay from your bank to make sure the credit card bills are paid on time.
Make smart credit decisions
Poorly managed credit cards result in wasted money and can grow into a bigger problem by damaging your credit scores. Become knowledgeable about your credit report, credit score and credit bureaus. Regularly monitor your credit report to identify and take steps to rectify issues.
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