The $50 million you spend on credit cards can add up over time, according to a new study from Equifax Inc. and Bankrate.com.
In particular, the amount of money you spend could be more than you realize.
While the data analysis is preliminary, it raises the possibility that you’re spending too much, or spending too little.
“While credit cards may offer a lot of flexibility to spend, they’re still very, very complicated,” says Jennifer Epps, a credit card analyst at Equifax.
She cautions against spending too heavily.
“If you spend more than your budget can handle, it’s a sign you should look into getting another credit card,” she says.
Some people say they spend more on credit than they should, and some are struggling with spending too often.
You might also want to look into paying down debt or lowering your credit score.
Credit cards have a range of fees, so make sure you understand all of the information about the cards you’re considering before signing up for a new card.
If you’re not a first-time buyer, you may want to consider other options.
If your credit history shows that you’ve had trouble paying your bills, there are options to help you pay them off.
Credit card issuers may offer loan modifications, defer payments or waive fees.
These options are sometimes available for people who’ve been struggling for years.
If credit card spending isn’t helping you, consider reducing the amount you use.
It’s often cheaper to borrow money instead of using it for debt.
But, remember, it only pays back the interest you pay on the loan.
You’ll also need to reduce the balance on your existing debt before you can apply for another credit line.
If that means paying off a balance and using the credit line for a larger purchase, you’re better off paying off the balance and borrowing the money instead.
This strategy can save you money on monthly fees, but it’s also more likely to negatively affect your credit rating.
Find out more about how your credit works before you apply for a credit line to reduce debt.
What you can do if you have trouble paying bills: Avoid spending more on debt that you don, or that you think is too much.
Consider making the right choice by choosing the right credit card.
Equifax says you can save up to $100 on your first credit card, and up to as much as $1,200 if you go to a company with good credit ratings.
But you may also need some help.
You can see the credit score of your current card issuer, which may give you a better idea of the value of your card.
Find your credit limit and whether your limit applies to your current debt.
Credit reports also can help you figure out if you’re likely to pay back the debt in the future.
You may also want a lender’s credit report.
You don’t need to get a credit report to make a loan modification, defer payment or waive the fee, so it’s important to make the best choice possible.
For example, you can use your mortgage payment history to determine if you can make the right decision on a new mortgage loan.
If so, you’ll need to consider whether the monthly payments you make are appropriate.
You should also consider whether you’re eligible for a deferral or a fee waiver.
Learn how to make sure your credit reports and loan modifications are accurate.
If the answer is yes, you should consider whether it’s best to apply for other credit cards, which have lower interest rates and a lower monthly fee.
You also might want to check with your lender to see if you qualify for a loan reduction or deferment.