These days it seems like everyone loves credit cards. It's faster to swipe your plastic than it is to pull out the proper amount of cash or to receive a fist full of change that you need to carry with you until you remember to take it out of your wallet. If you're buying gas at a gas station, you probably think it's faster to pay at the pump instead of walking all the way inside.
There's no denying it -- paying with plastic is certainly easy. However, if you fail to keep up with your credit card payments, your plastic suddenly gets more expensive. Read this list to see if you're guilty of the seven deadly sins of credit cards.
One of the biggest mistakes people make with credit cards is paying late. It's easy to forget about the bills. You put the mail on your kitchen table, and after a few days, the credit card bill is buried. By the time you find it, it's weeks late. It may seem like a harmless mistake, but the mistake has short and long-term consequences. In the short-term, paying a credit card late can leave you with fines. However, missing payments can also impact your credit score negatively.
Another mistake people make is paying only the minimum amount required. One credit counselor said, "A lot of people are still paying off Christmas 2010." When you put only minimum payments toward your credit card, you can spend years paying off a relatively small amount. Financial author Manisha Thakor said, "A rough rule of thumb is, if you have an interest rate in the high teens or above and just make the minimum payment, you have essentially almost doubled the price."
Read more in our upcoming posts to learn about the other five biggest mistakes people make with their credit cards.
Source: Fox Business, "Seven Worst Credit Card Habits," Karen Haywood Queen, April 11, 2012