Credit counselling services are very helpful for people that are struggling with large amounts of credit card bills, but most programs take at least three years to complete. If you are in a credit counselling program right now, chances are that you have made some changes to the way you spend money. This is very important to avoid falling into debt again, and here are some tips relating to credit cards that will help you stay out of debt for the rest of your life.
While you may have to surrender your credit cards during your program, you may begin receiving credit card offers shortly after completing the program. If you want to get a credit card after the program ends, you can; however, you should be selective when applying for one.
As you look through the offers you receive, apply for a card that offers:
- No annual fee – There are cards that charge fees and some that do not, but you should find one that is free.
- A decent interest rate – The rates on cards vary drastically, but you should try to find one that has a rate that is decent.
- Reward program – The other feature to look for in a credit card is one that offers a reward program. This could meant that you get a certain percentage of cash back from your purchases, or it could be some other type of reward program.
Once you find the right card and get approved for it, you will receive it in the mail. When you get the card, you will need to apply other principles to help you avoid racking up debt.
Use It Cautiously
It is so easy to buy things with a credit card, and that is one of the reasons so many people wind up with thousands of dollars of debt they cannot repay. Because it is so easy to use a credit card, you will need to develop rules or strategies for using your card, and here are some ideas you might want to consider using:
- Never use it for consumables – Consumables include any items that you will use, such as gas and food, and this also includes eating out at restaurants. When you use credit to buy these items, you have nothing to show. At the end of the month, your gas might be gone and your refrigerator might be empty, but you will still have a credit card bill to pay.
- Don't carry it with you – Some people have to go as far as leaving the card at home to avoid using it. If this is what it takes, then choose this strategy. If you do not have it with you, you will not be tempted to use it. This will help you control impulse buys and will help you plan out what you will use it for.
- Plan out every purchase – Planning purchases is the opposite of impulse shopping. If you really need something, such as a new refrigerator, then use your credit card. When you plan your purchases on your card, you can also make a plan for repaying the debt.
- Make sure you have a way to repay the full balance when the bill is due – The final strategy to always think about is making sure you have a way to repay the bill in full. If you cannot pay the full balance, your balance will start growing because of the interest the credit card company will charge you.
Living without credit cards is possible, but it may take developing some strategies relating to your spending habits. To learn more about this, contact a credit counselling center today.