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Use these tips to avoid excessive credit card debts

When you're struggling to pay the bills or want to have extra credit on hand, one of the ways to make sure you have emergency coverage is by applying for a credit card. Some people make mistakes applying, though, because not all credit cards are the same. Some have heavy penalties and late fees, while others offer fun benefits like airline mileage points. Using these tips, you may be able to avoid getting into too much debt, but if you're already in over your head, your attorney may be able to help you negotiate your fees or payments.

Before you apply for a credit card, make sure you research the terms of the card. Look at the fees and interest rates you're going to have to pay. Also look at the rewards you may be offered. Sometimes, rewards can be worth having a card, especially if you plan to pay it off each month.

Some people suggest using a credit card for daily purchases, then paying off the card at the end of each month. That's not a good idea, though, because you can easily overspend, getting yourself into debt. If you start spending more than you can pay off, you'll also start having interest rates to pay, and the amount you owe will continue to grow.

Don't make minimum payments if you can't pay everything off at once. Doing so allows more interest to pile up, and you'll pay much more than you would have if you'd purchased an item in cash. If you avoid buying things you can't afford, you'll find that you can usually avoid using a credit card, since you'll have the money you need on hand. For items that require a credit card, like if you want to rent a car for a vacation or trip, remember to have the money for the rental set aside to pay off the card at the end of the month.

Source: Credit.about.com, "Dos and Don'ts Of Using Credit Cards Wisely," LaToya Irby, accessed Jan. 04, 2016

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