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Ways to avoid credit card debt for Florida consumers

The recent economic crisis was tough for many families all over the country, several of them right here in Florida. Many people were forced to turn to their credit cards to make ends meet, but this might have exacerbated their problems. For those who are looking to reduce their credit card debt now that the economy is improving, there are several tips that can help.

There are a few things concerning credit cards that consumers can avoid doing that will help with their debt load. They should avoid charging items for which they cannot pay when their bill comes due. Charging meals — whether for groceries or restaurant dining — is using credit for items that only exist for a short time and can only worsen debt. While credit card companies may encourage relying on them for certain services, such as insurance or fraud protection, these services are usually not necessary for most people and are generally very expensive. Similarly, though getting cash advances can be tempting, they usually have much higher fees and interest associated with them and are an unwise use of one’s credit.

Despite all these “don’ts,” there are several things that consumers can do with their credit cards that will help their finances. Using credit cards only in emergency situations and not taking credit cards out of the home can help curb unnecessary spending. A consumer should also take care to pay the full balance every month, make timely payments and record their purchases to check for any errors. Additionally, it is a good practice to read over all of the rules that pertain to your credit card to avoid surprises — doing so will also be easier if one also limits the number of credit cards he or she has.

Despite all these suggestions, there may be some Florida families who will still struggle with the amount of their credit card debt and not be able to pay it off. Those families might consider filing for bankruptcy in such a situation. Doing so could help them make a fresh financial start and give them the chance to implement new, more beneficial financial habits. 

Source: bankruptcy.findlaw.com, "Avoiding Debt: Credit Card Do's and Don'ts", , July 25, 2014

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