Credit cards are convenient and secure, they help build credit, they make budgeting easier, and they earn rewards. But if you don’t do enough to ensure that you’re paying them off each month, those rewards won’t make up for that. A surprising number of people say that they’re tempted to transfer a large balance from a credit card to their checking account without even reading the fine print. If you are one of them, we suggest reading before doing so.

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It’s likely your checking account has negative balances, and it’s no longer safe to keep those balances open and accessible to your other card accounts. You could find yourself in a position where a high-interest balance takes up valuable cash flow and makes it hard for you to repay debt, or worse.

Too much of a good thing?

It’s no secret that one of the keys to growing credit is having a collection of revolving credit. But your collection of revolving credit isn’t just from one place. It’s from multiple places.

Having several credit cards means that your account number and expiration dates can be easily lost and stolen, and that your account can be canceled at any time. And if there’s no one you can ask to correct it, you’ll be responsible for all the fraudulent charges on your card.

However, many people have too many cards. Two-credit-card couples routinely have credit cards and credit cards with balance limits that are several times their combined personal credit limit.

A revolving credit relationship isn’t good for you, and it’s a recipe for bad debt and fees. If you keep a handful of revolving credit cards, consider limiting your usage to that card for at least a year.

If you’ve got a revolving credit history, it’s also time to review your eligibility for an education loan. Colleges and universities often offer debt repayment programs for graduates with large collections of revolving credit. However, if you don’t apply for this repayment, you may be left with a debt load you can’t repay.

Find ways to reduce the amount of credit card debt


There’s no escaping credit card debt. You have to make payments on your credit cards each month. The best way to reduce the amount of credit card debt you carry is to pay down your balance each month.

If you’ve borrowed money to finance your car purchase, restaurant meal, or other expense, you’re also likely to owe a credit card balance when the purchase is complete.

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