Law Office of Judith A. Descalso Law Office of Judith A. Descalso

Getting down to the nitty gritty details about credit cards

Millions of Americans use credit cards on a daily basis for a variety of reasons. Some use credit cards on every purchase simply to accumulate those enticing rewards that so many of the credit card companies hold out in front of consumers' noses in an attempt to get them to use their cards. Those same people will usually pay their credit card balances in full each month. However, the unfortunate reality is that many people use their credit cards because they have no other choice - they don't have enough money in the bank, and they need to buy the necessities for their family. But the fact is that many people, no matter how or why they use credit cards, often don't know much about these complicated financial tools - and as a result they end up with massive credit card debt.

A recent article attempted to lay out some of the less well-known details about credit cards. The article pointed out that there are both advantages and disadvantages to using credit cards. The trick is to get these different aspects of credit card use to balance out. For instance, while using credit cards may enable an Escondido resident to build a solid credit score - if the cards are used correctly - at the same time there is the undisputed fact that using a credit card is like borrowing money, and if the balance isn't paid in full the interest rates are some of the highest anyone will see for a loan.

The article also pointed out that many people make the mistake of not looking closely at the terms and conditions of credit cards before they apply for them. Many Americans are inundated with credit card offers in the mail every day, but those offers can be very different - from different rewards programs to very different interest rates and late payment fees.

Ultimately, the decision to get a credit card and use it comes down to each individual or family's unique financial situation. But, one thing to remember is that while credit cards can help in pinch, making the wrong moves could leave someone in a years-long struggle with rebuilding credit.

Source: SacObserver.com, "ROBERT WOOD: Debt Management - Credit Cards," Robert Wood, April 28, 2014

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