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Improve your finances by understanding credit cards

Many people in Oregon know what it's like to have credit card debt. When you don't have to pay for an expense right away, it can be easy to let debt build up. When this happens, you may end up facing a huge bill at the end of the month. If this happens month after month, you could be stuck under a mountain of debt unsure of how to pay it off -- especially if you have other debts to settle. Fortunately, a recent article in Forbes offers a few tips on using credit cards and paying down debt.

First off, it's important to know how to use your credit card so it benefits you most. Some people think that maintaining a balance on their credit card will help bulk up their credit score. However, the opposite is truer. To build a credit score, use your card, but pay off the debt in full each month. That way you avoid expensive interest rates while working toward a positive credit score.

If you have already found yourself in debt, however, you'll need to do more than just use your credit card correctly. But if you have credit card debt, are behind on your mortgage and have medical debt, where do you even begin? The common misconception is that you should start chipping away at your biggest debt first. In reality, though, it is best to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate.

When it comes down to it, sometimes it is simply impossible to pay down all of the debt you owe. If you are drowning in debt with no way out, it may be worthwhile to speak with an attorney about bankruptcy. For many people, bankruptcy provides substantial debt relief and a much-needed fresh start.

Source: Forbes, "7 Questions To Test Your Financial Literacy," Erik Carter, April 4, 2013

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