Pitfalls That Can Ruin You Financially

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Stay away from payday loans, reverse mortgages, and, even if it’s for your best buddy, cosigning a loan. Also, it really is best to keep up with your mortgage payments, even if you’re underwater and walking away seems like the best strategy.

USA Today’s “8 money missteps that can really hurt you financially” also includes this simple bit of wisdom about how credit cards should—and should not—be used:

A credit card should be used strictly as a convenience, not as a means to spend more than you can afford, says Ken McDonnell of the American Savings Education Council.

Raiding your 401(k) account and going into business with a debt-consolidation firm are also no-nos.