It’s no coincidence how turning 18-years-old can make you a visible target for credit card offers. The hype and allure is all over the marketing material that appears to give young consumers an easy way to get what they want apart from their parents help. Unfortunately, the debt trap is cunningly set for people of all ages, but especially those who are young and uneducated on personal finance.

Many people find themselves struggling for years with high credit card debt that never seems to get resolved. Credit card marketing traps cause many people to fall into a downward spiral of money problems, until landing on the rock-hard surface of bankruptcy.

You can avoid this experience by wising up to the clever marketing gimmicks produced by credit card companies.

Introductory low APR rates–  One of the most common credit card tricks is to lure new customers in with low APR rates that eventually increase significantly after you’ve created a purchase history and habit of use.

Low interest rates often carry with them hidden fees and high penalties for late payments. Thus, it can be easy to rush into signing up and then later regret it once those stipulations apply.

Offering additional services free for a limited time–  Credit card companies often boost their appeal to new consumers by offering additional services free for a limited time. These services may entice consumers who are under the impression that the services are for their benefit. Credit card insurance and monitoring are among the most common types of additional services.

Incentives and rewards –  “Rewarding” consumers for earning more bonus points, mileage, and cash back offers are inadvertently in the best interest of the credit card company. The higher your overall balance is, the more of a profit these companies make. In addition, it makes it easier to use credit cards when they’re associated with rewards, but they often distract consumers from the high late fees and penalties.

Only be gaining awareness of sophisticated marketing tactics are you able to avoid them and navigate your finances away from a pitfall. There are many resources to help individuals gain the understanding they lack and heal their finances. Bankruptcy may help people start over and do things right the second time around.