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More people choosing to forgo credit cards

It is easy to get swept up in the use of credit cards. Perhaps that explains the nation's $800 billion in credit card debt. As more people recognize the risks of irresponsible credit card use, many Floridians and people nationwide are choosing to live without them.

When choosing to forgo using credit cards, a person must make certain preparations. Having money available in case of an emergency is necessary if one plans to avoid using credit cards. An emergency fund should be created and added to an ongoing basis. Canceling credit cards also may not be a good idea. Closing credit card accounts can have immediate negative effects on a person's credit score. Persons who choose to cancel credit accounts should keep track of their credit score and take remedial measures if the score drops too low in response to account cancellations. Maintaining a diversified credit portfolio that includes a mortgage, auto loans and other types of lending can help avoid a dramatic drop in a person's credit score.

While living without credit cards seems to be a responsible decision, certain things such as renting a car or holding a hotel room are just more difficult with a debit card. It may be advisable to obtain a secured credit card for use in situations such as these. Secured credit cards tend to have lower credit limits and are based on the amount of the deposit a person puts down on the card.

Credit card debt can be devastating to a household budget. While avoiding credit card debt is the best option, there are legal remedies available for Florida residents already struggling with credit card bills. Filing for bankruptcy may offer debt relief to consumers overwhelmed by credit card debt.

Source: Huffington Post, "How I Learned to Live Without Credit Cards", Rachel McMahon, June 28, 2013

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