Maxing out the credit card with an unexpected large buy

A new survey finds about 86 million Americans are worried they'll max out their credit card when making a large purchase (more than $100).

Money Management International's Thomas Nitzsche said especially around the new year, people have the best intentions to get credit card debt down.

But, life happens—like a medical emergency that you have to charge.

"You then have to figure out how you're going to get that interest rate down if you just put it on a card, because you then have to do a balance transfer or something to get a promotional rate. You don't typically get that just by making a charge. You usually have to transfer that," said Nitzsche.

He said there's often times not much you can do, but use Care Credit with zero percent interest rate for 12 months or do a balance transfer to get a lower rate.

"If you have an unexpected expense like that and you swipe that card, you're immediately worrying about, 'how am I going to pay this or transfer it to an account where I know it's not an outrageous interest rate'," said Nitzsche.

He said it's a big cause for concern if you have multiple cards and max them out—how you will pay for them.

It’s reported the average household is carrying a $6,929 balance month to month and spending roughly $1,140 a year in interest.

Nitzsche said credit card balances are increasing, consumers are better educated now than previously on how their credit card score is calculated.

He said impacted or furloughed government workers or contractors should be aware right now that you should be working with your creditors on hardship plans.

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