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Debt and Credit Management

Resources for Responsible Borrowing

 9 Signs You May Be In Too Much Debt
1- You have used all of your savings making payments and you still have debt.
2- You can only make the minimum payments on your credit card each month.  (Don't fall into this trap!!)
3- You have to pay bills late because you're out of money.
4- You have at least one credit card near or over the credit limit.
5- You spend more each month than you are paying toward the prinicple.
6- You are using cash advances form your credit cards to pay other bills.
7- You have been denied credit.
8- You don't know how much total debt you have.
9- You stay awake at night worrying about your finances.

Getting into debt is easy, but getting out is not. When considering new debt/line of credit you have to think about the impact it will have on your present and future financial situation. Making smart decisions about debt management is essential to a sound financial future.  Always ask yourself these 3 questions before accepting new debt/credit:

  • Do I really need this loan?
  • Can I afford the loan?
  • How much will I pay in interest?

 Glossary of Common Credit Terms

Adjusted balance method — The balance is the outstanding balance at the beginning of the billing cycle, minus payments and credits during the billing cycle.
Annual Fee — An annual (yearly) fee charged by a credit card company each year for use of a credit card. This is a separate fee from interest rate on purchases.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) — The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the interest rate charged on the amount borrowed. It reflects the annual cost of borrowing money. The APR is a calculated rate that not only includes the interest rate, but also takes into account other lender fees.
Average Daily Balance Method, excluding new purchases — The balance is the sum of the outstanding balances for every day in the billing cycle (excluding new purchases and deducting payments and credits) divided by the number of days in the billing cycle.
Average Daily Balance Method, including new purchases — The balance is the sum of the outstanding balances for every day in the billing cycle (including new purchases and deducting payments and credits) divided by the number of days in the billing cycle.
Grace Period — The grace period is the time during which you are allowed to pay your credit card bill without having to pay interest.
Previous Balance Method — The balance is the outstanding balance at the beginning of the billing cycle.