Many people have several credit cards, including retail store cards, gas cards and major credit cards. Given the wide acceptance of most major credit cards, there is no reason to have several cards. By having one low rate credit card, you’ll pay less interest than most store and gas cards and simplify your life at the same time. If you have a second card for airmiles or points, be sure to pay of the balance each month to reduce interest costs of these cards as they tend to be higher than low rate cards.
Debit cards are as convenient as credit cards and you can withdraw money directly from your bank account as if you had written a cheque, therefore avoiding any interest charges.
A variable rate loan fluctuates, and in a declining interest rate market will substantially reduce interest cost. Determine your options before selecting the term and conditions of your debt.
If you have several creditors (i.e., several credit cards) or a heavy debt load, consolidating debt may reduce your overall payments and save interest costs.
You are not obligated to accept the credit limit assigned to you by either a financial institution or retailer. If the temptation to spend is too great, have your limit lowered to a more manageable level. Consider canceling any unused credit cards unless you are certain you would be able to service them if they were used to their credit limit.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
Robin Muir, CFP®, CLU®, CH.F.C.