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| Education and Financial

07/28/14

Card declined: Credit cards aren't ruining your finances; you are

One after another, thousands upon thousands of dollars, your credit card debt is mounting to the point that you don't see a foreseeable end in sight.
When that moment arrives and you realize you're swimming in a sea of credit card debt, the easy out is you refusing to take any responsibility for what's happening and instead place the onus on the credit card companies themselves and using their high interest rates and unrealistic minimum payments as reasons why you're struggling.
Your credit woes and that poor credit score to boot didn't come from any of the major credit card companies but rather sits squarely on your shoulders for opening up too many lines of credit, charging that new fall wardrobe or maxing out more than one card for that vacation you knew you couldn't afford at the moment.
Bad credit isn't something that is given; it's earned. If you're having trouble with debt and don't have an admirable credit score, chances are something played into that predicament that you had at least some control over, not withstanding a major medical issue or something else that put you in this precarious spot.
You have to truly analyze how you've been spending money and if you're organizational skills are up to par before you start handing out blame at a moment's notice.

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For instance, did you always pay your credit card debt on time? And, if you couldn't, did you call the card company and tell them why? Believe it or not, the creditors have somewhat of a heart and will be inclined to forgive a few late payments if you keep the lines of communication open with them. Ignoring their calls and playing hard to get only will infuriate them and allow them to escalate your late payments to another, less enviable level.
Not paying on time is a credit killer, but if you can't make that payment deadline, you have to at least let the person on the other end of the transaction know about it.
And, you also need to ask yourself the question: why do I have so many credit cards? A lot of how you're judged from a credit standpoint comes from a debt to income ratio, and if yours is more than 50% on the negative end, you're in serious trouble.
Applying for too many cards, particular in short intervals, is almost as bad as not paying on time. Every time you inquire about a new line of credit, your score takes a hit. That's why it is important to either space these out or forget about new ones altogether.
No one wants to be labeled a credit liability, but at the very least you should own up to your shortcomings and mistakes and fix them. The flip side to that is a long, brutal and tiresome debate between you and creditors that you're never going to win.

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