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Top five tips to save interest

  1. Pay off your credit card every month. If you don't carry a balance, you don't pay interest. Make sure you allow enough time for the bank to process your payment.

    Tip: If you are having trouble paying off your credit card balance, try to move the debt to a line of credit with a lower rate of interest. If you are carrying balances on several credit cards, ask your bank about a consolidation loan.

  2. Ask your credit card company for a lower interest rate. If you’re a good customer, they may say “yes” to keep your business. If they don’t, see if you can switch to a card with a lower rate. Also, switch from a card that charges a yearly fee to one that doesn’t.
  3. Don’t take cash advances on your credit card. You start paying interest right away. And the credit card company may charge you a fee as well. If you must take a cash advance, pay it back as soon as you can – don’t wait for your statement to arrive.

    Tip: Credit card companies may send you cheques that draw on your credit card instead of your bank account. Don't use them – they are treated like cash advances and you'll pay interest from day one.
  4. Use your monthly credit card statement to help you keep track of how you spend your money. Then build a budget that keeps your expenses in line with your income. Credit counselling agencies can help.
  5. If you use a cheque to pay your credit card bill, make sure you have enough money in your bank account to cover the payment. If the cheque bounces, both your bank AND your credit card company will charge you an NSF (not sufficient funds) fee. And you’ll still have to pay the interest on your credit card.