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Keep close tabs on your credit card balances to avoid troubles

No mater what your financial situation is, keeping track of all your credit card accounts on a regular basis is important. There are numerous reasons you should review your balance and statements at least once a month, and, in today's world, you might even want to check those accounts weekly.

Probably the most pressing and concerning reason to check credit card accounts regularly is the fact that so many fraud and credit card account theft occurrences are being reported. The latest major breach of credit card data associated with major service providers or retailers comes from restaurant chain Wendy's, who recently reported that there was unusual activity on credit and debit cards that consumers had used at Wendy's locations.

It seems that any time you swipe a card nowadays, you put your financial information at risk. And yet, for most people, going to a cash-only lifestyle is simply not possible. Which is why due diligence is required to catch fraudulent activity on your personal accounts and report it in a timely manner to banking and credit card institutions.

But fraud isn't the only reason to check your statements periodically. Credit card companies aren't infallible, and mistakes can be made. If you're dealing with a lot of debt right now, you certainly don't want to pay more because of a duplicate charge or incorrect finance fee. Depending on your credit situation and payment history, a credit card company might also make changes to your interest rate, which is something you'll want to consider if you are creating a plan to pay down debt.

Looking at your balance on a regular basis also keeps things real for you -- you'll have a better appreciation for how much you actually owe. You'll also understand if you've reached a point where outside assistance with an option such as bankruptcy in Washington might be a good thing to seek.

Source: QSR Web, "Can a credit card payment breach happen at your restaurant?," Travis Wagoner, Feb. 12, 2016

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