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Credit Card Survival Tactics

the average person spends 112 percent more on a credit card than they would if paying cash

Love 'em or hate 'em, most of us can't live without credit cards. Those shiny plastic rectangles represent financial freedom and convenience in an age of consumerism and instant gratification.

But do you really know what you're getting into when you slap the plastic down? Recent statistics show that personal debt has increased dramatically in the past five years. Canadians, and in particular British Columbians, have gone from being the best savers in North America to carrying the highest consumer debt load in the country.
By using these guidelines, you can avoid the perils of too much credit card debt:

The average person spends 112 percent more on a credit card than they would if paying cash. If you can't pay cash, never go to a mall or store without taking a specific list of exactly what you need

Have only one credit card. If you can't bring yourself to get rid of the others, put them in a small bowl filled with water and freeze it. You'll think twice about using them while waiting for the ice to melt

Save as much as several hundred dollars each year in credit card interest charges by paying off your entire bill each month. Try to avoid late payment and over-your-limit credit fees

If you can't pay off your balance, pay as much as you can or switch to a card with a lower annual percentage rate

If you have high-interest cards, pay more than the minimum payment to save money and retire the loan more quickly

Before you whip out your credit card, ask yourself, "do I really need this?" Saving may not be as much fun as spending, but you'll thank yourself later

If you have more than one credit card debt, pay off the card with the smallest balance first. Then tackle your next smallest credit card balance. You will feel a sense of accomplishment by paying one credit card in full at a time.
If you have any further questions on credit please talk to one of our Member Service Experts at any one of our 3 community branches.

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