Top five credit card regrets

January 19, 2018

Our credit card spending can catch up with us in January, sometimes when we least want to face it. Often it’s only when our bill arrives that we regret some of our credit card purchases. Are you guilty of any of these?

Your top five credit card regrets

In 2017 you told us you regretted

  • impulse buying something you never used
  • buying a “deal” in the sales that ended up not being a great deal
  • buying too many toys for the kids that they never played with – in many cases they preferred the box the toy came in!
  • taking out cash with your credit card
  • maxing out your card and still paying items off years later.

 Time to tackle your credit card

It’s never too late to tackle your debt. There are some simple steps you can take to bring your balance under control even if you can’t pay it all off in the short-term:

  • Face up to the challenge. Ignoring your bill won’t make it go away. At least pay the minimum balance to avoid late payment fees and your credit record being damaged.
  • Look at your past spending. Take a typical month and look at what you are using your credit card for. Is it for essential spending or are there items – for example monthly subscriptions – you don’t use. If you forensically examine your spending you will usually see a pattern emerging.
  • Stop using your card if you can. Now that you know what you are using your credit card for can you change your spending habits? For example if you are using your card to buy your lunch out every day why not bring your lunch in and maybe limit eating out to once a week.
  • Work out how much you can repay each month. Try and pay as much as you can off your balance each month. Our clearing your credit card calculator will show you the impact of paying extra off your balance. For example if your credit card balance is €1,000 and you pay off €50 each month at an interest rate of 17%, the calculator shows you that it will take two years to repay the balance, provided you stop using the card. If you increase your repayments to €100 per month, you could clear your balance in 11 months (13 months earlier) so every cent counts.
  • See if you can switch to a credit card that has a lower rate of interest, or 0% interest on balance transfers. Check out our credit card Money Tool to see what rates are currently on offer. If you are able to move your balance to a credit card with 0% interest for a period of time, then every cent you pay will reduce your debt.
  • Check your balance regularly. Choose a credit card that you can access online. This will help you keep track of your credit card balance and how much you are spending.
  • Go nuclear and get rid of your card altogether. Would a debit card be a better option for you? Or, you get a prepaid card that can be used wherever a credit card is accepted.

For more help read our ditching your credit card tips.

Return to News

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?