Credit Card Backlash Could Give You Whiplash

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We feel your pain.

Seriously, do you really think that the credit card companies who are filling your mailbox and inbox with warm, fuzzy offers of easy credit are really concerned about your economic well-being?

Not a chance.

The advertising is designed to either lure you into their web of debt through an increased credit line, a delayed monthly payment offer or a promised relief from the financial stress you’re currently facing.

There is one other gimmick they use this time of year. . .they realize that many people have a heart bigger than their bank account. . .so they play on the desire of folks to bless those they love with good gifts at Christmas.

Bottom line. . .just say NO. If you use a credit card to pay for your Christmas purchases it will truly become a gift that keeps on taking and taking. . .your hard-earned money.

Word of caution to those readers who ignore the first part of this email If you’re determined to accept the credit companies’ offers, then you need to carefully read over the rules and regulations and be familiar with their policies.

Missing or late payments, spending over the limit, or forgetting to change your address after a move gives your friendly credit card company legal reason to double your interest and add additional fees to your growing balances. Their original love letters to you can quickly turn into “I will hunt you down for payment” notes and calls. This backlash that can give you whiplash!

Caution: Do you wait until the due date to pay your credit card statement by phone or online? You may assume that as long as you pay by the due day you are covered, right? Not always.

Somewhere buried in the small print you may discover you have to pay by a certain time of the day or you are considered late. Also in the small print there is generally language that gives them the right to raise your interest rate and keep it at that higher rate for 6 months or indefinitely. Yes, missing their payment cut off by even one minute could turn your financial tables and cost you big time!

It would be nice if the credit card company would clearly state a time of day a payment must be made by. But, as a credit card user, if you often pay your bill around the deadline day consider calling their customer service line and see if there's a certain hour and minute you need to make your payment by. It’s a toll-free call that can save you big money.

It pays to educate yourself if you are entering into any kind of financial agreement. Don’t get entrapped by enticement without fully reading and understanding their policies. That way you can take wise and punctual steps to protect yourself against the traps and pitfalls of credit.

The one gift that you never want to receive from a credit card company is a “Gotcha.”