It's time for Money Court, the honorable "Judge" David Bach, Vice Chairman of Edelman Financial Services, presiding. One couple, two sides, one verdict in the case of the ballooning credit card.
Married couple Monica and Brian Susoreny face a crisis. They've got credit card debt and don't have enough cash flow to pay off the balances in full every month. Luckily they have some savings. Monica thinks they should hang on to it for emergencies. Brian thinks they should use the cash to pay off the credit cards.
Gavel time: who's right?
"Use your savings to pay off the credit cards now," said Bach, "They are costing you way to much money and you are earning nothing on your savings."
"When you use a credit card to pay for things, its called "borrowing money," he added.
"It makes zero sense to borrow money at 18% interest rates when you have money sitting in savings earning zero percent interest. This is how the banks get rich and you stay poor."
So what should other couples with the same issue do so they don't land in Money Court?
The verdict is in:
- Remember credit cards = borrowing money
- Prioritize your debt
- Pay off your smallest card first
- Lower the interest rates
- Double your minimum payments
- Use debit cards, charge cards & cash only