Cardholders who want to close their accounts but who don’t have the funds to pay off their balances all at once, can do so over time and at the current interest rate, says Prater. Talk to your credit card company about this option, which includes the choice to pay off that balance over a five-year period at the current interest rate or via a monthly minimum payment that doesn’t exceed twice what you’ve been paying per month.
As you receive credit card notices, remember, the best strategy is to open them right away and decide if you need to act. Most are time sensitive and will require a quick response should you decide you don’t like the new terms, fees, or options. “Throwing these notices away could mean throwing money away,” Prater cautions. “Open the letters up, read them, and get help understanding them.”
DOs AND DON’Ts FOR HANDLING CREDIT CARD NOTICES
–Read over the notice carefully.
–Ask a consumer credit counselor or the credit card company to explain complicated concepts and rules.
–Toss the letter in the trash.
–Let the legalese and jargon intimidate you.
–Assume you have no recourse against new rules and fees.
WEALTH FOR LIFE PRINCIPLES
1. I Will Live Within My Means
2. I Will Maximize My Income Potential Through Education and Training
3. I Will Effectively Manage My Budget, Credit, Debt, and Tax Obligations
4. I Will Save At Least 10% of My Income
5. I Will Use Homeownership as a Foundation For Building Wealth
6. I Will Devise An Investment Plan For My Retirement Needs And Childrens’ Education
7. I Will Ensure That My Entire Family Adheres To Sensible Money Management Principles
8. I Will Support the Creation and Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses
9. I Will Guarantee My Wealth Is Passed On To Future Generations Through Proper Insurance And Estate Planning
10. I Will Strengthen My Community Through Philanthropy