When used properly, credit cards can be an effective way for a Florida resident to manage his or her finances. However, when used improperly, they can lead to debt that a person may not be able to repay. Individuals are encouraged to use a calendar or similar tool to keep track of their monthly payments. Making payments on time can avoid late fees and harm to a person’s credit score.

Although making the minimum payment will allow a debtor to remain current on an account, it may result in paying more in interest than necessary. Using too much of a credit balance at one time could also result in a lower credit score. Ideally, individuals won’t use more than 30% of their available credit at any given time. Those who are struggling to pay down a credit card balance may be able to renegotiate their payment terms.

This may result in a lower interest rate, which may make it easier to pay down a balance in less time. Individuals may also be able to increase their credit limits simply by asking. However, it is important not to spend the extra money as it could lead to more financial stress in the future. Those who think that they can’t control their credit card spending may want to close any accounts that they aren’t currently using.

Individuals who are struggling to repay their credit card debt balances may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Doing so might make it possible to eliminate that debt in a matter of months. It may also put an end to creditor phone calls, letters or other collection activities. An attorney might explain the process of filing for bankruptcy, the different types of bankruptcy and other potential benefits of seeking protection from creditors.