SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Now that the holidays are over, people are looking into their recent spending habits.
Many people tend to carry a balance on their credit cards month to month, but reaching for your credit card too often can have a big impact on your credit. According to the latest quarterly report from the Federal Reserve, 46% of credit cardholders carry debt from month to month on at least one card, which is up from 39% last year.
Not only can this lower your credit score, but sky-high interest rates also make credit cards one of the most expensive ways to borrow money. The average credit card rate is now 19.6%, due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes to combat inflation.
The first thing you should do if you are carrying a balance is to start paying at least the minimum balance on time. For future cardholders, be sure to find credit cards offering up to 21 months with no interest on transferred balances.
Make a list of all your debts as well, and make a note of the type of debt you have whether it’s student loans or your car, and what are the interest rates of each of those. Also, figure out the maximum you can pay every month.
Look into how much you need to pay for necessities such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and food to then be able to determine what you can afford to pay everything month. Ultimately, financial advisors recommended picking a debt repayment strategy, such as the 50/30/20 approach or even the snowball method.