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• Jan. 29, 2020

Credit cards offer a variety of benefits—from points to travel miles, to the ability to earn cash back on everyday purchases. They can also be a convenient, secure and flexible way to shop, budget and manage your financial resources.

Like any financial product, credit cards should always be used responsibly. Carrying a balance on your card incurs interest, while missing payments can impact your credit score, making it harder for you to borrow money in the future.

It's important to understand how credit cards work and what to do if you're having difficulties managing your finances. For example, you can avoid being charged higher interest rates by always paying at least your minimum payment on time. And you can avoid paying interest on purchases altogether by paying your full statement balance by the payment due date.

Text that says 'Cardholders can avoid being charged higher interest rates by always paying at least their minimum payment on time.'

Quick tips for getting your credit card balance to zero (and keeping it there)

  1. Pre-authorize your scheduled payments to ensure you never miss a payment. Or, consider using a calendar reminder to ensure you're keeping track of when payments are due.
  2. Take advantage of the 21-day interest free grace period for purchases if you pay your balance in full before your statement due date.
  3. Use a money management app like TD MySpend to help you have a more accurate financial picture of your spending habits for any TD credit cards or personal banking accounts that are linked to the app.
  4. If you find yourself juggling payments on more than one card, consider simplifying your finances by consolidating balances under a lower interest-rate product such as a Personal Line of Credit.
  5. And while it can be okay to carry a credit card balance occasionally, you should speak with a financial advisor if you have longer-term borrowing needs, to get advice on lower rate borrowing options that may be more appropriate for your situation.

Better financial health starts with the right resources

When it comes to your personal finances, studies show it really does pay to talk to someone. If you're thinking about getting a new credit card, or if you have questions about a card you currently use, the best place to start is with a financial advisor. But using your credit card effectively is just one aspect of good financial health. Visit a TD branch, or book an appointment online with an advisor. With the right advice and the right resources, you can borrow with confidence and get the most out of your credit card while meeting your financial goals.

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