If your wallet is full of plastic and your mail is full of bills, it might be time to organize your credit cards. In fact, if you are carrying quite a bit of debt, consolidating to a lower-rate card can save you a hefty chunk of change in interest charges. But done incorrectly, canceling credit cards or consolidating debt can cause more harm than good.
"If you really want a get-out-of-debt-free card, you've got to understand how you got into the mess and fix the mess," says Wayne Bogosian, co-author of " The Complete Idiot's Guide to 401(k) Plans."
"People solving symptoms with debt consolidation are on the verge of making the problem worse," he says.
In short, don't consolidate your credit cards just to charge them all back up again.
Do you have multiple department store or gas cards that you never use? Are you paying a yearly fee for a credit card that allows you to earn miles? If so, do you plan to use those miles? Consider how many points you earn and if it's worth the fee you pay.
Ask these questions:
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages thoughtful and constructive comments. We ask that you stay focused on the story topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, illegal contents and advertisement posts. Comments are not reviewed before they are posted. Bankrate reserves the right (but is not obligated) to edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.