Paying your credit card balances prior to the account due date has many advantages including lower interest costs, avoided late fees, and fewer delinquencies to stain your consumer report.

An improvement in your balance to limit ratio may not be one of those benefits unless you make an extra payment just before your statement date. Try this strategy before considering debt consolidation.


Believe it or not, mindfully defaulting on credit card payments is a step that debt relief companies frequently make. You need to demonstrate financial hardship and build funds in an escrow account before the bank or a collection agency will agree to a settlement.

Learn the short-term pitfalls and possible long-term benefits before signing up for this type of a service. Be careful that you do not wind up in court fighting a lawsuit.


Did a bank recently deny your credit card application?

Learn about the most common rejection reasons and improve your qualification. Worry about possible score impacts is often misplaced. The length of time before reapplying is often shorter than most people think – for those in the know!


It is better to pay a credit card in full every month than to revolve (pay less than 100% of the statement balance and owe interest) – although the banks prefer keeping you in debt as long as possible.

Use the interest-free grace period to your advantage and watch your score climb over time. People making the minimum payment every month have a much more difficult experience.


Learn everything you ever wanted to know about credit card limits – plus a few things that may surprise you.

Start with a few key definitions such as what a limit is, how banks determine your number, and what happens when you go over or have open to buy. Then move on to how to get an increase without asking and avoid a reduction without warning.


Learning how credit cards make money can help you beat the banks at their own game.

The revenue side of the equation involves interchange fees, late charges, and the interest that accrues when you revolve the balance.

People often overlook losses from default. One bad account wipes out twenty good ones. This is why banks reject many applications and keep spending limits low.


Getting a personal loan to pay down your credit card balances may save you money, and help you become debt free. Alternatively, this could get you into more trouble.

You are trading one form of borrowing for another. Sometimes the terms are better, other times they are just different. Learn the pros and cons.


Credit card billing cycles typically last thirty days. At the end of each cycle, the bank issues a statement and reports the payment status, balance amount, limit, and other account information.

Keep this schedule in mind if you are thinking about a debt consolidation loan for credit card balances. The timing could matter.


If you thought that paying down credit card balances was tricky, wait until you must choose between reducing the principal on a personal loan at the same time.

Low-interest balance transfer credit card offers seem to make sense on the surface. Why pay more when you don’t have to? However, beware of the hidden issues you may encounter.


When responding to a credit card offer, you may need to answer several seemingly odd application questions such as whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or live with your parents.

You may find it interesting to learn the different ways risk managers may use your answers when deciding whether to approve your request, and then set your initial limit.