title:Use Your Credit Card To Have A Merry Christmas author:Peter Kenny source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_4317.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

We are getting to this time of year again, when your credit card is used a lot more than at any other time of the year. So much so that if it is not the credit card that is screaming for mercy then you will be when that first credit card statement after the festivities, falls on the doormat.
So what are the things that we can do to make this time of year be such a pleasure, that we are not dreading the Christmas period next year?
Make repayments cover the interest?
Here is a few suggestions that you should follow to make your Christmas remain white and not for it to cause you to go in to the red. Firstly, learn to know when you are over spending and you can see that you are accumulating debt that you cannot sustain. The first signs of this will be when the repayments that you making to your monthly statements, are only covering the cost of the interest charges. Check this out, for example if you are paying ?200 towards your bill each month, look to see how much of this cash is actually going towards clearing the balance and how much is going on interest payments.
Stay away from minimum payments?
Secondly, do not stick to the minimum payments set by the credit card company, this will only see you slide further into debt at a much quicker rate. The credit card issuers have in recent years lowered the minimum payment; it now stands at 2% or a minimum of ?5 of the total bill, this has dropped from the 5% that used to be the norm with repayments. The credit card issuers have looked to maximise profits by giving their customers they lower minimum repayments, meaning that they could spend more. This though is a false economy to the customer, as it only means that the less they pay back the more that the credit card companies make in interest charges.
This will lead to you struggling to actually reduce your debt, with the minimum payment being all that you can afford, if this is the case, STOP using the credit card immediately and look for ways in which you can reduce the debt as quickly and pain free as possible.
Use a 0% balance transfer card?
One way to do that is with a 0% Balance Transfer. Most credit cards are offering this facility at the moment and would be a good option to give you a little breathing space as with regards to the interest your bill will accumulate each month.
You will get credit card companies giving you 0% on a Balance Transfer from anything from 6 months to a year, which will stop you racking up any more interest on an already heavy burden. However, there is one thing that you should refrain from doing and that is using the credit card to make any more purchases, by doing so everything that you are striving to do to get your finances back to somewhere near normal, will only see you fall through a debt trapdoor that will slam shut, with no way out.
If you succeed in reducing your debt, learn from what went before and curb the level of spending on credit cards and work within a limit that you feel you are comfortable and manageable and in doing so you will be able to use your credit card to your advantage and not filling the already bulging coffers of the credit card companies.
Follow these simple steps and have a wonderful Christmas
1) Regulate your spending
2) Ensure your repayments at least cover the interest accrued
3) Do not stick to minimum payments! (Very important)
4) Look at some of the 0% balance transfer deals

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