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TheStreet Open House

Don't Let Your Credit Become A Greek Tragedy

Find a card that fits your lifestyle

You don't risk betrayal and torture by shopping around for a rewards credit card that fits your current lifestyle. If your greatest perk is miles and you hate to fly, you might be better served by a cash back card.

Benefits are not limited to miles or points, either. Certain hotel cards give you upgraded status, and co-branded credit cards may provide a discount at your favorite store. Credit card companies are competing fiercely for your business - compare the benefits and make them prove their worth!

Losing track of accounts

Having multiple accounts to manage has made our heroine more confused than the Minotaur maze.

She carries a balance on a few accounts and a zero balance on a couple more. But trying to remember due dates and minimum payment requirements has caused her to lose track of her accounts. Credit that has gone unused has been lowered and a balance that she forgot she has is past due.

Close unnecessary cards

Maybe the beautiful Helen of Troy could get away with asking for those late fees to be removed, but the rest of us need to stay on top of managing our accounts. Closing unnecessary cards could help you get organized. The keyword here is unnecessary. It's a good idea to keep your oldest account open since the age of your accounts plays a role in your FICO credit score.

However, if your credit utilization will stay below 10 percent and your score can afford a short-term dip, consider closing debt-free accounts that do not provide you with your preferred benefits. 

Probably all of us, at one time or another have blamed the Fates for our financial misfortunes. But any soothsayer worth his salt will tell you, only you are in charge of your economic destiny.

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