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Split Personality: Why you and your credit card need to go your separate ways

Breaking up may be hard to do, unless of course you’re talking about your love affair with your credit card and how it has negatively influenced anything from your ability to save money to your making that financial future a little less optimistic.

Now, this isn’t about bashing credit cards or looking at those devilish plastic cards as being all bad. Those who use them correctly find that they can carry with them a slew of benefits that go beyond being able to buy something and not pay for it right at that moment.

The trick to credit cards really starts with that person using it, namely if you’re paying it off in full with every purchase or taking advantage of interest rate terms and special promotions for the allotted time and then not letting interest build up and hit all in one fell swoop. Other perks include establishing credit for the purposes of having a score bump every time you pay on time or even something as simple as travel points to earn free miles for that upcoming vacation.

That said, credit cards are a necessary evil but also part of money and saving it that can be avoided. You’ll hear plenty of people talk about they don’t use credit cards and don’t want them, period.

And that’s fine, and typically that mentality comes with good reasoning. Perhaps a balance has been haunting them for years or they’ve had their fair share of run ins with the creditors of a particular card and didn’t receive them warm and fuzzy feeling they had hoped to get.

Whatever the case may be, closing credit cards and breaking up with them is a good thing, for the right reasons. Much like a relationship, you have to examine the why more so than the how.

For instance, if you’re not using it and you’re being charged in some form or fashion for it, then send that card packing.

Of course, the most obvious reason to cancel a credit card is if you simply can’t stop using it. If you consciously find yourself spending at a moment’s notice, do yourself a favor and walk away from the card. Shred it, freeze it but most of all cancel it and know that your spending can only get better without having that card so accessible or even active.

Credit cards are unique in that they make life easier and harder in the same breath. Unexpected purchases, points and perks make cards all the more lovable, but that affair of the heart can turn quickly if you’re not spending wisely and most importantly able to save after it is all said and done.

Debt Mastery: How to kill off heavy duty debt in no time

You’ve all seen plenty of debt in your time, whether you’re struggling with credit cards, lines of credit, upside down car payments or a house that isn’t gaining any value but rather losing it, all of which comprises the constant struggle for you to save money and have financially sound futures waiting in the wings.

As debt continues to amass, saving money becomes even more difficult as one paycheck turns to another but most of your earnings is put toward those credit card and debt related bills, some worse than others.

The debt on your credit card often can’t be tied to something tangible like a car loan or home mortgage, even if you promise the creditors that you used your Visa for a new furnace. The debt that is credit card related or that can’t be dubbed as typical haunts the masses to the point that they’re looking for just about any way to pay it off as quickly as possible.

What happens, however, is you get bogged down on a budget that won’t allow you to spend more than the minimum payment and your $10,000 in debt means you’ll be paying on it for way too long and that aforementioned ends up doubling or tripling by the time you pay it off, which could take years.

So how exactly do you get this debt paid off faster?

The trick to paying it off is confronting it rather than just resigning yourself to the fact that you’ll always have it. That minimum payment being paid is a good thing and won’t hurt your credit score, but those who want to really put a dent in their debt tend to take debt on right away and look at it from a planning stage rather than a “it will be paid off when I get to it” type mentality.

Debt consolidation tends to be viewed as a negative for a number of reasons, when in actuality it can expedite the process of getting your debt paid. The downside is the monthly payment might be a little higher, but it often trains you to tighten your budget and cut your time in half when it comes to paying off debt.

Consolidating your debt can be done in a number of ways but the best tends to be working with a third party company. The move isn’t going to hurt your credit but rather is viewed by creditors as a lateral move. You may need to explain this payment when it comes to buying a house, but that can be soothed with a simple letter.

Obviously, if you can’t afford a higher payment through the debt consolidation company, it might not be quite as feasible but force yourself to look at that higher payment to get not only your credit paid off faster but reshape your budget for the better.

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