Credit card tips for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Credit card tips for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

“Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade and at times reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets, according to a review of Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures and information provided by the White House.”

 

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says, The Washington Post 

Is Brett Kavanaugh bad with credit cards? You be the judge.

But seriously, the 53-year-old Supreme Court nominee’s struggles with credit card debt are not too surprising considering the habits of his fellow members of Generation X. (Unofficially, Gen Xers were born between 1965—Kavanaugh’s birth year—and 1980.) According to Pew Research Center, this generation accrued nearly twice as much median credit card debt as millennials did when they were the same age.

In Kavanaugh’s case, it appears that he took months, if not years, to pay off some of his debt, including major charges such as baseball season tickets for his buddies. At one point in 2016, he had three credit cards, each carrying between $15,000 and $50,000 of debt. But letting high-rate debt hang around like that is just one of the costly pitfalls of credit cards. Here are some credit card commandments for you or the Kavanaughs in your life:

Pay automatically

It’s the easiest way to make sure you pay off your balance in full each month. Make sure to check your bank account well before each bill date to ensure you can cover this month’s amount. (Too busy writing opinions to do this? Delegate some to your law clerk.)

If you can’t pay in full, at least beat the minimum

You’re looking at a multiyear debt repayment sentence if you just pay the minimum amount due month after month. Even upping your payment by $15 will significantly reduce your time served—and your interest paid.

Haggle with your card issuer

Plead your case for a lower rate. Pick up the phone and dial the number on the back of your card. Ask nicely. You’d be surprised by how often this works.

Avoid double jeopardy

If you’re already in debt, don’t add fuel to the fire by making extravagant purchases that you can’t pay off right away. Put another way, be conservative. To reference Kavanaugh’s baseball charges, do you and your buddies really need to be right along the first-base line? Nationals Family Fun Pack tickets may be in the upper deck, but they start at $20 and include a free hot dog and soda—a deal that any fan could love.

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