Financial Planning and Credit Cards

teal credit card digits close-upA Fee-Only financial planner is concerned with your entire financial life and this includes your use of credit cards.

It has been five years since the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act became law and according to The Washington Post, “All of those sorts of abusive — and very lucrative — practices are no longer the norm…” but at the same time “it’s failed to prevent credit card companies from peddling useless debt-protection products or murky promotional financing deals.”

Consumers have benefited from the limits on fees, disclosures about how long it will take to pay off a credit card balance by paying only the minimum, and lower late fees. Yet, you should still not be blind to the ways that credit card companies try to part you and your money.

Although you may have been told that closing a long-standing credit card account could affect your credit history, this does not mean you need to hold onto the exact same credit cards for decades. You should also remember that you need a credit card that fits your lifestyle. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) points out that rather than throw away each credit card offer you get, assuming it’s junk, you should consider if your current credit card still works for you. For example: “If your always-hungry son is headed to college in the fall, getting cash back on grocery purchases might no longer be worth your while.” The WSJ also suggests checking to see if zero percent balance transfers come with fees that are easy to overlook in the excitement about the balance transfer.

A Fee-Only Financial Planner is there to assist with both your long-term financial outlook and your current financial realities. Choosing optimal investments and outlining a great retirement strategy is important but if your current spending includes overuse of credit cards this can be an obstacle to reaching your financial goals.

 

© Clarity Financial Planning. Financial Planning and Credit Cards is a post from: Bring Clarity to Your Finances™

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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