Being a holder of EIGHT credit cards, I am proud to say that I don’t incur any “extra” debt from finance charges or late payment charges. Not that I use all of them but hey, at my age, one must be thinking,“baon na yan sa utang” (he’s deeply in debt). But uh-uh, HELL NO!
I would like to share the simple rules/guidelines I follow that help keep me from falling into the credit card trap, and instead, making them (credit cards) my friends.
- Buy only what you can afford.
- Keep track of your credit card spending. Microsoft Money or Quicken are helpful tools in doing this.
- Always pay bills in full and on time. Paying online makes it more convenient.
- Take advantage of the “float” or the time that it takes the card company to bill you for the credit card purchases you make (taken from “Pwede Na!”)
- Ask credit card companies to waive your annual fee (normally for the 2nd year). If they don’t, threaten them to cancel the card. This works most of the time, although not all the time. But this will save you P1000-P2500, depending on your card.
- Never use cash advance. Don’t treat a credit card like an ATM card.
- In case of overspending, borrow money from friends/relatives to pay off the bill. hehehe! Worst case scenario, cash loans from banks/cooperatives offer lower interest.