Credit Card Tricks (Part 1 of 4)

At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, Arizona’s premier bankruptcy law firm, we really do care about you and your family’s financial health. In this series of blogs, we will cover some tips for avoiding or reversing the crushing credit card debt that can lead many people to declaring chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Credit card fees

Credit card companies make money by charging you interest and fees. And even though competition is tight in the industry, fees charged to consumers have never been higher.

Fees in particular are a way for credit card companies to hike up their profits. While consumers may shop around on interest rates, most don’t open an account thinking they will miss a payment or go over their limit. But the average late fee has nearly tripled in the last fifteen years, and now stands at almost $35. And you get zapped even if you simply forget and mail your payment one day late.

Cash advance fees have also crept up over the years, with the average rate now at 3% with no maximum upper limit and no grace period. Lenders are tightening up on grace periods for interest charges and late fees across the board.

How to protect yourself

  • Set up some sort of automatic payment that covers at least your minimum payment each month
  • Keep an eye on balances to ensure you don’t go over the limit
  • If you do get charged a fee, call the card issuer right away and ask them to remove the fee and any punitive interest rate. Be polite and make your case, like “I have been a cardholder for five years and never missed a payment.” If that fails, threaten to close the account.
  • Do not use your credit card to get cash. It is a very bad deal.

At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, we believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by debt. We have helped hundreds of people just like you find the relief they deserve from harassing bill collectors, paycheck garnishment, foreclosures proceedings, and – most importantly – the constant worry about money and what to do about your debts.

We are a dedicated debt relief law firm. We help people from Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe and throughout Arizona file for bankruptcy or work through tough tax problems every day. We can help stop the debt cycle and give you relief from your overwhelming, burdensome, and crushing debt. Please don’t wait another moment. Call us right away – our attorneys will help get you the fresh start you deserve.