Thank you to Andy for contributing this guest post! Andy is a contributor at Oak View Law Group and contributes specifically on personal finance topics.
Managing Multiple Credit Cards
Is it difficult to manage multiple credit cards?
How many credit cards do you use? Is it one or more than that? If you have more than one credit card, then you are among 33% of Americans, over 18 years of age, who have two to three credit cards.
If you have one credit card, then you will remember the due dates of payments, its terms and conditions, and so on. Even managing two credit cards is relatively easier, but it becomes a little difficult when you have to manage multiple credit cards.
So, are you worried about how to manage your multiple credit cards? It’s not that tough. All you have to do is avoid incurring debt on the cards; but, if you have already credit card debt, then there’s a way out too.
Just stop worrying, roll up sleeves and let’s get into action!
How to Manage Multiple Credit Cards
At first, let’s see the best way to manage multiple credit cards by following some common do’s and don’ts.
Pay your bills on time – Make a resolution to repay your credit card bills on time. If you face difficulty to remember the due dates of payments, then make a chart of payment dates and stick it on your refrigerator.
You can also opt for automatic bill payments. However, make sure to check out the multiple credit account statements on a monthly basis so that you can keep a track of the payments and whether or not they’re updated correctly.
Contact your card issuer if you miss a payment – About 90% of the credit card issuers will agree if you ask for a reprieve when you miss a payment date. But, they will listen to you once or twice if you usually make the payments within the due date.
Try to avoid a balance on cards – If someone has told you that carrying a balance on credit cards is good, and you’re doing that, then you’ve been following a wrong strategy so far.
If you repay your balances at every billing cycle, then it will have a positive effect on your credit record, and in turn, will boost your credit score.
However, if you already have balances on your multiple credit cards, and are worrying about how to repay them, don’t worry! We will deal with it later in this article. There are ways to repay multiple credit card debt, too.
Pick the right card for swiping – One of the best ways to manage multiple credit cards is to pick the right card for making a purchase. You have to know which card to use when so that you can maximize the rewards. It is because some cards may offer rewards for a particular type of purchases or from specific retailers.
For example, a card may offer rewards only on purchases from supermarkets while another card may offer cash back offers on restaurants.
However, if you are planning to have credit cards for emergency purposes, then make sure you are aware of the disadvantages as well so that you can plan your finances accordingly.
Avoid selecting cards with annual fees – Do market research and select good credit cards with suitable terms and conditions wherein you don’t have to pay any annual fees.
However, you may get a card where you have to pay an annual fee, but it comes with a good rewards program. You can select such a card if the terms and conditions are suitable for you.
Do not close your old credit cards – It is true that managing multiple credit cards is a bit difficult but be careful while closing your multiple credit accounts. About 15% of your credit score is dependent on the age of your credit accounts. So, it will ruin your credit
score if it’s your oldest credit card.
Moreover, your credit utilization ratio will also increase since the credit limit on that card will not be taken into account anymore.
Now, if you have multiple credit cards with outstanding balances and worrying about how to manage and repay them, then there’s a way out too. You can opt for consolidating your credit cards to pay them off with ease.
3 Ways to consolidate and repay multiple credit card debts
Now that we have discussed how to manage multiple credit accounts, let’s focus on what to do if you have multiple credit card debt.
There are 3 ways to manage multiple credit cards by consolidating them and paying off the entire balance. Doing so, you can add positive information on your credit report and improve your credit score since you’re paying off the entire outstanding balance.
1. With professional help
If you want to manage multiple credit cards online, you can browse the internet and opt for a credit card consolidation program. When you enroll in such a program, the consolidation company will offer professional guidance.
They will decide upon a monthly payment which you can pay comfortably to the company. They will also negotiate with your creditors to reduce the
interest rates so that it’s easier for you repay the debt. Once you make the payment to the consolidation company, they distribute the amount amongst your creditors as per agreement.
However, while choosing a consolidation company, make sure you check online reviews so that the company is a reliable one.
2. By taking out a loan
Another way to repay multiple credit card debt is to take out a suitable loan and repay all your existing credit card debts with that amount. By doing so, you replace multiple credit cards with a single loan, which you have to repay by making monthly payments.
3. Transferring your balance to a low-interest card
Do you have a good credit card with low-interest rate and high credit limit? If so, then you can transfer other credit card balances to this card. You can also take out a balance transfer card for the purpose. Research online to find out the best balance transfer credit cards, which come with
zero or low-interest rates for a certain period.
If you opt for a balance transfer card, make sure you repay the balance within that period to avoid high-interest rates on the remaining balance.
The basic idea behind using a consolidation strategy is to repay multiple credit card debts with a single payment every month.
So, plan your strategy. If you have credit card debt, pay them off and start managing your credit cards in a better way. And, if you don’t have debts, then manage your multiple credit cards in a way that you don’t fall into debt problems ever. It will help you have a better financial future.
Author Bio: Andy is a contributor at Oak View Law Group and contributes specifically on personal finance topics. You can also find him fielding queries based on money management topics on various online communities and social media platforms.This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here