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Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Contributor

Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

With the EXCEPTION of 0% or 5% APR offers, do you carry balances on your cards?

If so, why? Credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow money.

I personally have never paid a cent to financing charges.
43 REPLIES
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Like you I never carry a balance with the exception of special financing offers.  However, each person uses cards for different reasons and each person has a different ability to PIF or not.  In a perfect world, evryone would be able to PIF everything, every month.
 
In the old days, peopel used credit cards for those little emergencies and then paid monhly until they were paid in full.  That still exists today.
 
Now asa self-employed person, there are biz expenses that I will revolve but that interest is tax deductible.
 
Even though CC debt is semi-expensive, not everyone wants to take out the min loan for the little things.  I called my bank for a loan and was told the min on any loans was 10k.  Heck I didnt need near that much so I used m CC.



Message Edited by Brammy on 12-13-2007 06:51 PM
Established Contributor

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

well I agree with Brammy in a perfect world we all could however when you have unexpected expenses arise thats the way I see credit as not just out here splurging just to indulge b/c you have the extra credit to do so and it causes you to get in a rut---however sometimes I carry a balance sometimes I dont--it just depends on the purchase and that typical month if there is extra money or not--I am a regular employed person---so I try to live within my means--I dont go overboard but I am not always capable every month to PIF--However I rather owe a balance on my Credit card anyday than go out and get a payday loan Smiley Wink
I want to join the 700 club one day I am getting there Smiley Wink
FICOS 12/17/07 EQ-597 EX-651 and TU-651
FICOS 01/18/07 EQ-594 EX-651 and TU-662 FICOS
04/21/2008 TU-680 EQ-613 EX-688
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Before I found this board-
Carry Balance meant paying a finance charge-

Now I think of it as "how much do you allow to report to the CRA's"?

I am a PIFer now-

When Amex reports on the 23rd with Nov balance $13
and Cap1 with $5 (last one of this too)

and if Kay's updates their balance (from zero to $979 at 0%)

$997 out of $23K 4.3% UTL
$0 finance charges ever again.
Super Contributor

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Very rarely.  I think once in the last 3 years.
 
But it is a simple loan, and I have one low APR card I would use if it was conveniant for a month for a small amount.  Any more than that and I would use my HELOC or savings.
The slide from grace is really more like gliding
And I've found the trick is not to stop the sliding
But to find a graceful way of staying slid
Established Contributor

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Carrying a $500 bal on a 12% card. It is from a small vacation in Oct.  Have been paying $100/month.
 
I could pay it off from savings BUT I've found that it's better for me to not touch the savings account because it is difficult to put the money back in there.
Moderator Emerita

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?



Anderson wrote:
 
I could pay it off from savings BUT I've found that it's better for me to not touch the savings account because it is difficult to put the money back in there.


Boy, isn't that the truth!
 
For about a 5-month period, I carried a good chunk, about $4,000, on a CC due to an unexpected increase in DD#1's college tuition. (We didn't realize that her Perkins loan was only for her freshman year.) I went out and took a second job, and I now work 60 - 65 hours/ week, no balances except on a HELOC which is brand new, and too busy and too tired to use cards anyway! Smiley Happy
 
And yes, DD was a work-study student, had summer jobs and student loans, was an NCAA Division III athlete, and had humongous academic scholarships, so she very much carried her weight.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Established Contributor

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

up untill about 1.5 years ago I was living outside of my means and was carrying a balance. I am still paying the consequences. I've got 1.4k to go before i'm CC debt free.
 
For the last year i have been a PIFer. I let the CCs report the balance, and then i pay it off before the due date. No finance charges here.
____________________
FICOs: (as of 12-10-08): EX 759 | (as of 01-24-10): EQ 794 TU 756 EX ? | (as of 3-17-11): EQ 794 TU 790 EX ?

Until Chase lowers my ridiculously high APR they can kiss my patootie! Their card has been retired to the sockdrawer. Smiley Mad
Contributor

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?



Anderson wrote:
Carrying a $500 bal on a 12% card. It is from a small vacation in Oct. Have been paying $100/month.
I could pay it off from savings BUT I've found that it's better for me to not touch the savings account because it is difficult to put the money back in there.





Well, the smartest thing to do is to pay it from savings, then "pay" your savings account $100 / month.

Personally, I keep enough cash in bank to handle any small emergency (car break down, etc.). I don't really draw lines between my checking/savings account either, I transfer balances between the 2 all the time. I honestly don't think it matters where I take the money I'm spending, it's my money either way, what does it matter if I pay out of checking or savings?

I can't think of anything that would force me to take a charge on a credit card that I can't afford to PIF the next month.

Can't afford the vacation? Don't take it. Can't afford to pay for the meal out? Don't go. Only major surprise I can think of that would REQUIRE me to pay out of pocket is if my car breaks down, and that would cost at MOST 5K to repair (and that's like a really bad case, most car repairs only cost a few hundred)

Major medical emergency? Health insurance covers most of it. Apartment burns down? I have insurance for my stuff (Plus I only have like 10 grand worth of stuff in my apartment anyway, my watch is the most valuable thing I have in it, and I'm usually wearing that, and my computer's the 2nd most valuable thing in it.. I don't even have a TV, lol)

I think most people who get emself in credit trouble start out with a bad habit of carrying a small balance, then it grows. I don't know anyone who's gotten into serious trouble because they absolutely HAD to spend the money.
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Do you carry balances on your credit cards?

Ok I'll say it, good for you.  Not being rude but I think its in poor taste to judge a group of people or their habits that you know nothing about.  Since you are not responsible for anyone else's debt but your own, why does it matter.  Not being rude but I find your posts offensive.
 
Not everyone llives in your world and as I said in a perfect world, everyone would PIF.  you are makig judgements about socio-economic states of which you know nothing about.  Whether you carry a balance or not, the key is responsible management.
 
It really peeves me to read stuff like this.  I have a sister who works as a clerk.  Unfortunately her income does not support a HUGE savings and take it from my experience, insurance does not cover everyhing.
 
 




Message Edited by Brammy on 12-14-2007 06:11 PM