Stupid Things People Do With Credit Cards

Credit cards are rectangular Pandora’s boxes, unleashing the potential for torment in your financial life, as well as possible salvation. Undisciplined or desperate credit card users often get themselves into ludicrous jams.

Identifying credit card follies in hopes that readers won’t repeat them, Kiplinger names some of the worst possible credit card mistakes, including:

*Paying your bill late. Miss a payment by a few days and your APR can skyrocket, piling fees on top of interest rate. Do whatever you need to do to cough up at least the minimum payment.

*Fall victim to balance transfer sucker bets. It’s tempting to take advantage of low or no-interest balance transfer offers, but the fine print often reveals transfer fees that can catch you off-guard. Misjudge the amount of time you’ll need to pay off the balance and high interest rates can smack you in the face when the promotional rate wears off.

*Make only minimum payments. Interest can eat you alive if you’re satisfied by paying the bare minimum to keep the credit wolves at bay. Fail to make significant payments and you may end up paying for whatever you bought on credit several times over.

What ways did you abuse credit cards before you wised up?

11 Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid [Kiplinger]
(Thanks, Dennis!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.