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Financial Resume: Credit Cards

A good comment from someone jogged another area where you need to have a look at your financial resume and that is in the usage of your credit cards, and do you have them under control?

When I first graduated from University for the first year or two I actually carried a balance on my credit card (yes, hang my head in shame, but no one ever taught me about this stuff, if they had, I wouldn’t have done it honest). Now it wasn’t a large balance, but it was enough to be a drag on my life. This was a mistake but I learned from my mistake.

I no longer carry balances on credit cards, and ensure I never have to pay the high interest rates most credit cards charge, so that is a good thing, I’ll give myself a green star for that one.

I do however have FAR too many credit cards. I went to the Canadian Credit check folks and got a list of all the folks who have open credit files on me (with zero dollar balances) and it is scary. These things are dangerous because:

  1. Fraud on these accounts is more likely, just because there are a lot of them
  2. I have access to this credit, and quite frankly, I don’t trust myself on impulse buying or worse still fooling myself into some bizarre get rich scam, which causes me to draw on these credit facilities.

I need to get rid of all of the credit facilities and cards I do not need, so black mark on me for that one too!

On your financial resume, include a short-term debt section and how you deal with it, and whether you think it is under control, which is important. If your short-term debt is out of control, it will effect (affect?) your long-term debt eventually.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Presumably those old credit cards expire at some point, no?

    I have my one everyday use card with a huge limit that I pay in full every month. To my recollection, the only other credit cards I’ve ever had to my name were an AIr Miles BMO card I signed up for in University (what can I say, I wanted the T-shit) that I cut up more than 5 years ago, and an HBC store card that I used precisely once, to buy a wedding gift with the 10% signing-up bonus, and then promptly cut up.

    THta was within the last 5 years, so it may well still be active.

    I’m assuming the Air Miles account I haven’t used since 1999 has sealed over. Should I not?

  2. Assuming that credit companies close your files is a bit naive. You need to do a credit check on yourself and see how many of those cards still have open files on you. Some may well close out, but I doubt it, unless you told them to close the credit facility, it isn’t likely closed.

    I know that my Future Shop card doesn’t work right now, but I also know that my account is still active, I just can’t use my card, far out! –C8j

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