When NOT to Charge

The holidays are coming up soon. Take note of these credit red flags – and put your card away at these times.

  1. After midnight. Your judgment may be off at this time of day, so turn off the computer, put your card away and wait till morning.
  2. When you’re near your credit limit. Credit counselors advise staying away from even a couple of hundred dollars of your credit limit to avoid any negative impact on your credit score.
  3. When you get a notice that your rate will go up. You may be able to negotiate with your credit card company for the old rate, switch to a new company with a lower rate or avoid using credit altogether.
  4. You’re paying one card with another, habitually. If you’re bouncing your balance around from one card to the next, you should be aware that moving it around every six months or so may show up on your credit report. Also note that transfer fees have gone up to about 4% of your debt.
  5. If you don’t have a plan for paying it off. If you’re still charging more than you can pay off each month – and have too much revolving debt – Primerica DebtWatchers can help you create a plan to pay off your debt, and help you stick to it!

Source: Creditcards.com, viewed July 13, 2011