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How to avoid traps when applying for a credit card this festive season

With the festive time approaching, it may not come as a surprise that you will be caught up in the sudden festivities. Soon you will find yourself amidst the chaos of choosing gifts and shopping for attires.

But to make your financial expenditure more flexible and convenient during this time, surely you would think a credit card would make a great tool to help finance your purchase. No doubt, you will rack reward points or even cash back offers with the amount of shopping you will do with the card. After all, the bill at the end would justify the means of saving in the long run. But is it?

Not many are aware, that excessive expenditure on your credit card can lead to plenty of financial traps in the future. And this future can also be long term. So if you are thinking to apply for a credit card here are a few things you need to keep in mind, before you begin the application process.

• Limit your application to one credit card: It may seem easy when you are considering a credit card to apply for, especially when it comes to multiple credit cards. But you should actually restrict your application to one card. This will go a long way to set what you spend, especially since the limit on the card will prevent any extensive expenditures. Additionally, one card will make it easier to set a regular pattern of purchases and repayment, which goes a long way to establishing a good credit history.

• Understand all the terms and conditions: Before even beginning the process to apply for a credit card, you first need to consider the terms associated with this banking card. What is the interest fee, what are the annual fees attached to it? Are there different rates for cash advances? You will need stringent answers to these questions before you consider a credit card to apply for.

• Set a budget: Setting a budget is critical when you begin to shop with the credit card. No doubt, the limit on the card will prevent you from over expenditure, but a budget will deter you from even reaching that limit in the first place. It also helps prevent any unnecessary expenditures and reduce your overall credit bill.

• Set a time limit on big purchases: You may have to spend big bucks on items that are a bit expensive. Before making this purchase, you will need to consider the necessity and feasibility of your repayment on such purchases along with your other smaller purchases. To be on the safer side, establish a waiting period of several days before you buy.

• Ensure that you avoid paying a bare minimum: While you shop, you can also take steps to repay the borrowed funds as soon as possible.Your minimum repayments can be as low at 1.5% of the outstanding amount. But by paying the minimum amount, you don’t cover your interest payments. In the end, you will pay more interest overall, thus making it longer to pay off your debt.

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