Most of us use our Credit Cards without a care in the world. But, are we really handling them responsibly? Here’s how you can tell if you’re an irresponsible Credit Card user or not.
In this day and age of cashless transactions, many of us tend to make use of our Debit or Credit Cards when travelling, shopping, dining or even while doing something as mundane as filling gas. One of the quirks of spending money is that people tend to be more frugal when dealing with hard cash, but not as apprehensive when using Credit Cards.
It’s almost like a Credit Card seems to give us the license to spend, as and when we please, without worrying about the consequences, or rather, put off worrying about the consequences until later. However, it’s precisely these consequences that come back to haunt us, and more often than not, end up haunting us for a substantial period of time.
You’re probably thinking to yourself that you’re pretty responsible with your money and especially with the way you use your Credit Cards. But, the trouble is, many of us tend to only ‘think’ we’re responsible when it comes to spending money and especially when it comes to using our cards.
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In any case, here are some ways to figure out whether you’re an irresponsible Credit Card user or not. If you’re guilty of any of the following, then it’s time to knuckle down and shape up:
You Only Pay The Minimum Balance
You may feel quite chuffed about paying the minimum amount due on your Credit Card every month, under the impression that you’re actually reducing the total outstanding due on your card. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
We hate to break it to you but what you’re paying is basically the interest on what you’ve spent on your card along with other fees. In essence, your outstanding balance doesn’t really reduce by a substantial amount, which means you’re actually stuck in a constant loop of paying the minimum due every month while your outstanding debt remains virtually the same.
Shocked? Well, it’s time to break out of that vicious cycle by paying off as much as you can every month to bring down your total debt. The more you pay, the faster you clear your outstanding dues and the less you’ll have to pay towards interest.
Additional Reading: Paying Just The Minimum Due? Here’s How It Could Harm You!
You Use Up The Entire Limit On Your Card
Just because you have a Credit Card doesn’t mean you can or should swipe it at every given opportunity. Most people tend to go a bit berserk when they get their first Credit Card and end up buying everything they lay their eyes on. In this sense, Credit Cards tend to give people a false sense of security due to the fact that you can buy now and pay later.
Because of this, many of us usually keep swiping our card without thinking twice, and before we know it, we’ve exhausted the entire limit on the card and saddled ourselves with a mountain of debt. While it’s great if you can pay off the entire amount or at least a major part of the outstanding amount quickly, many people out there end up struggling to bring it down.
This is exactly why you should use no more than 30% of the limit on your Credit Card. This way you can pay off the outstanding amount easily over time. Also, maxing out your Credit Cards tends to affect your Credit Score as well, so make sure you keep an eye on that too.
Additional Reading: The Pros And Cons Of Increasing The Credit Limit On Your Credit Card
Not Making Use Of Perks
While holding a Credit Card is all fine and dandy to make purchases and pay bills and all that good stuff, if you aren’t making use of all the perks that Credit Cards offer, then you’re certainly doing yourself a disservice.
Most Credit Cards these days come with tons of rewards and offers that can save you a fair amount of money over time. You could get discounts on shopping, dining, hotel bookings, flight tickets, fuel, movie tickets and even redeem all the points you accumulate on your card for a wide range of products.
Your Credit Card is more powerful than you think, so take the time to explore all its features. You may be positively surprised at how much more it can offer you.
Additional Reading: Credit Cards That Can Actually Save You Money
Still think you’re using your Credit Card responsibly enough? If this article opened your eyes, then it’s time to get cracking and use your card diligently and resourcefully.