Army

December 6, 2012

Holiday season is here — use credit cards wisely

Tags:
FH Legal Assistance Office


Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The same adage applies to credit cards. With the arrival of holiday season, it’s easy to over use a credit card. One swipe, one signature, and it’s out the door with gifts in hand.

If failed travel plans leave people stranded in a strange city with little cash, it’s good to have a credit card to use for a hotel, meals and a rental car. On the other hand, frequent usage of a credit card can leave the gift shopper or traveler speechless at the end of the month when the bill arrives.

Before applying for a credit card or adding a new one, keep in mind there are many different kinds. Some have an annual fee, but charge a lower interest rate. Those who tend to carry a balance on their cards rather than pay it off each month should find a lower interest rate beneficial.
However, those who pay their balances off each month will find the interest rate does not matter. It makes little sense to pay an annual fee when credit cards are available without fees. Some cards offer money back, free airline miles, or points toward free gifts or services. Another award option allows the cardholder to donate money to a school or charity.

Follow these simple rules to keep credit card usage under control:
Avoid cash advances. While they may be a quick fix for an immediate problem, a person borrows against the future ability to pay the money back. This is a quick way to get into debt. Many credit card companies charge a large fee for each cash advance, and the interest on the advance starts to accrue immediately.

Pay the full balance each month. By doing so, a person avoids paying interest on the account. Even those who make a lot of purchases in one billing period and cannot pay the balance should send in more than the minimum payment each month. Merely paying the minimum monthly payment will cover the interest and very little of the principal debt. It could take months, or even years, to pay off the balance.

Save up for big purchases rather than putting them on a credit card. Put money aside each month until you have the full purchase price before making the purchase. Those who make a purchase on credit and do not have the money to pay the item off immediately, should set up a strict budget each month and make regular credit card payments to meet the goal of paying off the balance.

Make credit card payments on time, every time. Don’t just wait for the credit card statement to arrive before planning the monthly payment. Put the credit card due date on each month’s calendar or enter the date in your computer or Smart Phone. When making your monthly budget, plan for the payment. That way, if the statement is late or is not delivered at all, the user is still aware of their credit responsibility. Should they fail to make a payment or the payment is late, adverse information which is often hard to erase could be entered onto their credit report.

Consider using a debit card instead of a credit card. A debit card withdraws the money directly from a bank account to make a purchase. It is the equivalent of paying with cash or a check. Whereas credit cards have credit limits of thousands of dollars, a debit card is closely tied to the user’s account balance so it is unlikely funds can be overdrawn.

Those with questions regarding consumer issues may call the Fort Huachuca Legal Assistance Office and make an appointment to speak with an attorney. The number is 533.2009. Those who would like assistance with their budget, credit counseling, or other areas of personal finance can contact the Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program to schedule an appointment. Call 533.2967.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

McChord AFB pilot continues to inspire Airmen

Courtesy photo Capt. Ryan McGuire runs the 1,500-meter run and earns a gold medal at the 2012 Warrior Games held at the U.S. Air Force Academy Colo. McGuire won a total of five medals at the 2012 Warrior Games to add to his three medals he won from the 2010 inaugural Warrior Games. McGuire is...
 
 

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

INSCOM photos Lt. Col. Frank Moorman and his staff of the Radio Intelligence Section are pictured at American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters. Tactical Signals Intelligence originates in World War I July 28, 1917 On July 28, 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces G2, Brig. Gen. Dennis Nolan, tasked Capt. Frank Moorman, a Coastal Artillery officer, to form...
 
 
DoD

Determination, motivation drive young man to Marines

San Diego — Hard work and determination can get people to places they never thought they could go. One Marine set his mind to one thing and accomplished it. Pvt. Jose Caban Jr., Platoon 3203, India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, didn’t give up on his goal and lost 70 pounds to enlist in the...
 

 
David Kamm, NSRDEC

Chow from a 3-D printer? Natick researchers are working on it

David Kamm, NSRDEC Natick food technologists already believe they serve up the best food science can offer. Now they are working to incorporate 3-D printing technology into foods for the warfighter. NATICK, Mass. — Army resea...
 
 
Karen Horak, NSRDEC Collective Protection Systems Team

Natick takes shelter ballistic protection to the ‘X’ level

Karen Horak, NSRDEC Collective Protection Systems Team Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, with help from the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, hav...
 
 
United Kingdom Ministry of Defense

Army researchers develop Cargo Pocket ISR

United Kingdom Ministry of Defense A British Soldier holds Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin