by John Brennan

There are often warnings in the newspapers about the high levels of credit card debt that many consumers have. You know how simple it is to let your credit cards get higher than you can manage – not having to pay immediately upon purchase often means the pain or struggle of having to pay for the item is delayed.

Sometimes the problem is that credit cards are so easy to use. They can easily lead to spending patterns that aren’t in keeping with income and can quickly become a major bug bear. That doesn’t stop people all over the world from using them.

Credit card debt often seems to sneak up on people and without diligent tracking of expenses the full implications often aren’t apparent until a credit card statement arrives in the post. Then it can be a scramble to meet the minimum payment. Very quickly credit card debt can get out of control due to high interest rates on outstanding balances and late payment fees if the minimum payment isn’t made on time.

Credit card companies make their profits from the high interest rates they charge their customers and from extra charges like late payment fees. Once credit card debt gets high then often the only way to get out of the ever closing credit squeeze is to consolidate credit card debt with a loan.

The problem with accruing a large credit card debt is not only the pressure that it puts on your finances and your life but it also impacts your credit rating. As soon as a cardholder defaults or misses a payment, credit agencies are informed. Having a poor credit score makes it more difficult to get loans and often increases the cost of any loan that you can get.

Finally, if a customer continues to default, other creditors may increase their interest rates for that customer, even if the individual has paid all of the debts to that particular company. This is known as universal default and only makes the situation worse for someone who is struggling to get out of debt. Bad credit is contagious. The popularity of plastic credit is soaring worldwide, in spite of awareness of how damaging credit cards debt can be. Today’s college graduate will more than likely owe at least several thousand dollars when entering the workforce and will be forced to take out more loans for debt to cover the existing debt. The cycle is continued. Acting responsibly is the first step to taking control.

About the Author: