Don't Let Your Credit Become A Greek Tragedy

The ancient Greek tales of misfortune would have us believe that angering the gods might be the cause of all our financial woes.

However, these hubristic scenarios aren't the plots of Greek tragedies; they're common problems with credit card debt that plague many Americans.

Discover how our heroes might overcome their financial fate and learn something from their cautionary tales.

Ignoring credit card balances

Our hero relies on credit cards to live an extravagant lifestyle -- one that he truly can't afford. He wants the finest things and is so consumed by his desires that he can't be bothered to budget or even acknowledge his growing debt. He makes minimum payments, hovering just below his credit limit and figures he can continue on like this forever.

Make a plan to pay off debt

Oedipus might tell you it's no use to run from your problems. Get a handle on your debt by creating a budget you can live on without using credit, and factoring in debt repayment. Consider utilizing a 0 percent APR balance transfer credit card to save on interest while paying down debt. Good choices may include the Citi Simplicity Card and the Slate from Chase.

If you've been eating nothing but ambrosia, the food of mere mortals might take some getting used to, but consider how much sweeter life will be living debt-free.

Credit cards are an extension of spending

Our heroine budgeted for the groceries and paid the power bill, but when a good deal turns up, she just can't turn away.

She knows she cannot afford the things she buys on impulse, but, as if under a curse, she can't resist the sale. She thinks that's what credit cards are for, right? She's confident they will carry her over until she can pay off the bill… which should be any day now.

You don't have to be Cassandra the Prophet to see how this will end.