Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), one of the largest banks in Guyana and the Caribbean region, offers a full range of personal and commercial services, including small business and “green” loans, large commercial loans, savings and checking accounts, credit cards, and more.
GBTI also provides customers with helpful tips and tools to assist with personal finance and banking in person and through its website at GBTIBank.com.
GBTI VISA Gold and VISA Classic credit card accounts offer customers numerous benefits, including the convenience of shopping online and in local stores and restaurants, all with the peace of mind that comes with the bank’s PIN-protected system and 24-hour customer support.
GBTI’s VISA cards are accepted by more than 25 million businesses all over the world and at more than 1 million ATMs across the United States. Additionally, GBTI VISA customers enjoy competitive interest rates, online account statement access, free monthly statements, and a maximum one-week turnaround time for replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged cards.
Anyone at least 18 years of age with valid picture identification is eligible to apply for a GBTI VISA card. The bank’s branches offer application forms, but customers may also access forms online, print them, and fill them out before their scheduled interview with a bank representative.
Thanks to the expansion of access to personal credit over the past few generations, credit cards have become ubiquitous worldwide. There are numerous excellent reasons to open a credit card account, but it is also vital to keep sound principles of managing credit in mind when using it.
Here are a few tips from experts in personal finance that can help consumers manage their credit card accounts in ways that will most benefit them over the long term:
Pay bills on time
Paying your monthly statement—or at least the minimum repayment amount—by the due date will prevent late charges from racking up, and it will also help you maintain a good credit score. In fact, one leading reason why consumers fall into steep credit card debt can be traced back to a failure to make repayments on time.
Pay as much of your balance as possible
Experts advise paying off your entire card balance every month, or at least as much of it as possible, to keep interest and additional fees down.
Of course, there are reasons when it’s just not possible to repay your full balance every month. Even then, it’s still important to repay as much of it as you can—and on time.
Keep balances low
It’s also a good idea to focus on keeping card balances under about 30 percent of your total credit limit.
Carrying forward more debt than you are prepared to manage puts you in a less favorable position for obtaining a mortgage or financing your child’s higher education. For many potential lenders, credit card balances that continuously hover just under the limit are a sign that a consumer may present a higher risk when it comes to a loan.
Traditional thinking on this issue also advises credit card holders to spend at most one-third of their monthly income on servicing debt—automobile loans, student loans, and credit card bills, for example.
Keep spending under control
Use only as much credit as you can afford to repay. A store discount of 20 percent may sound exciting, but if you can’t afford to pay off the purchase in your upcoming billing cycle, that discount could end up costing you far more than it was worth.
Make a budget
A simple monthly budget is perhaps one of the most underrated tools for curbing excess
spending and making credit work well for you.
Outline all your monthly income, create a list of all necessary expenditures, and the difference will show you how much debt you can realistically take responsibility for and repay.
You can even use your credit card as a budgeting tool. By planning to make all your regular recurring purchases and bill payments by card, you are helping to build your credit while maintaining an up-to-date log of expenditures.
Get a copy of your credit report
Experts recommend requesting a copy of your credit report every year from any of the relevant credit reporting companies. Check this report carefully to note and report any errors, and be particularly alert for any signs of fraud or identity theft. Make sure to correct any wrong or incomplete information, such as address, marital status, or current mortgage or loan status.
Let your bank help you
GBTI’s free monthly statements and easy online account access can become powerful budgeting and tracking tools for helping you keep track of your cash flow every month. Try logging in to your account once a week to make sure you understand your usage patterns and available credit. This will also allow you to promptly bring any problems you see to your bank’s attention.