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Begley's Bargains: Understanding your credit cards and interest rates

According to Consumer Reports, you shouldn't pull out the plastic any chance you get.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Albert Einstein once said, "The hardest thing to understand in the world is income tax." 

If my man Einstein is having problems understanding income tax, we're all in trouble then. So, I went to straight to the experts at Consumer Reports to save you money, stress and time when it comes to your taxes. 

Credit Cards

It's so easy to want to throw the bill on your credit card, earn some reward points, and be done with it. But, according to Consumer Reports, don't be too quick to pull out the plastic because you may end up paying more. The IRS only authorizes a few companies to process electronic credit and debit card payment. The fees to use your credit can really add up, not to mention the interest you'll pay if you don't pay your balance in full. 

According to creditcards.com, the average interest rate on a credit card is 17.55 percent. If you feel like paying with your credit card is your only option, experts say your best bet is to open a new card with a zero percent introductory rate. 

The catch? You’ll need to pay off the balance before the rate expires. If the thought of opening up another credit card gives you hives, like it does for me, you can always set up a payment plan.

If you need more than 120 days to pay your tax bill and you owe less than $50,000, a payment plan might be your best option. Just a heads up, though, you may have to pay a setup fee.

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