It's easy to start using a credit card and quickly rack up debt that can continue to haunt you for some time. However, this being said, using a credit card responsibly is good as it builds credit. Luckily, there is a happy medium that consumers can find when it comes to credit cards.
The first thing when using a credit card is to remember that it is still money that needs to be paid back. Often consumers forget this fact and just swipe and swipe away without even realizing how much debt they are brining on themselves. To try and combat this, experts suggest keeping a piece of paper handy and writing down any purchases that are made with a credit card. This way there are no unexpected purchases on your monthly statement.
Additionally, put some thought into what kind of credit card you want. Don't just sign up for the first one offered. Rather, look through the terms of the card to make sure it fits your lifestyle. Along these same lines, unless you are someone who is going to benefit from a rewards card, keep in mind these credit cards often have higher interest rates and may not be the best choice.
Lastly, make credit card payments on time. Being late on payments effects a person's credit score and can turn into a real downward spiral of late fees and high interest rates. To help ensure bills are paid on time, carefully read through the terms of the card to know exactly when payments are due each month.
All of this being said, for some readers it may already be too late. In those cases, where credit card debt has already accrued out of control, now is the time to talk with an attorney who has experience in debt relief to see what options may be available.
Source: Fox Business, "Five Credit Card Mistakes You're Already Making," Oct. 4, 2012