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Published: October, 2012; Vol 9, Num 5

 

Are You a Smart Credit Card User?

Take the Credit IQ Test*

  1. When do you tend to pay your bills?
    a. On or as close to the due date as possible
    b. When I receive them
    c. I skip some payments
  2. What portion of your credit card bills do you pay each month?
    a. Most of what I owe, if not all
    b. Minimum payment due
    c. I don’t pay the bill
  3. On average, how much of a balance do you carry on each of your credit cards?
    a. None – I pay it all off each month
    b. Less than half of my available credit
    c. I’m maxed out
  4. How much of your monthly income goes to pay credit card bills?
    a. Less than 10%
    b. Approximately 11-20%
    c. More than 20% or someone else pays my bills
  5. Do you know how much total credit card debt you are carrying?
    a. Yes
    b. I have a rough estimate
    c. I’m afraid to add it up

If you answered “a” to all of the questions, congratulations! You are using credit wisely.

If you answered “b” to all of the questions, re-evaluate your budget to identify ways to reduce your debt. You want to be prepared for what life sends your way, including making sure you have enough money for emergencies.

If you answered “c” to all of the questions, you are jeopardizing your credit history and your financial wellbeing. Before you use your credit cards again, examine your budget, financial priorities and credit obligations.

*Adapted from JP Morgan Chase and Company.