Help Me With Credit Card Debt – Six Steps to Get You Started
Many people have credit card debt. Those with only a little are in a far better situation than those who have incurred thousands of dollars in debt over the years. However, no matter the dollar amount, those with credit card debt are in a situation that is precarious and needs immediate attention. Learning to relieve yourself of credit card debt by paying it off quickly and easily will save you time and money as well as stress. Here are six steps to help you get started relieving your credit card debt.
1. Consolidate your Debt
Start by going over the debts you owe to each credit card and figure out which card you have has the lowest interest rate. Transfer as many balances as possible to that card to consolidate your debt and save you money. This type of consolidation allows you to have fewer credit cards, fewer monthly payments and less accrued interest charges. The lower the rate the more money you will save.
2. Put Cards Away
When you make the decision to get out of credit card debt, it is imperative that you stop using your credit cards immediately. Running up the balances you are trying to pay each month only makes paying off your debt take longer and cost more. If you are one of the many people that simply does not have the will power to stop using your credit cards, you can destroy them or put them somewhere that makes them difficult to use, such as a safety deposit box at your bank. This will make you think twice each time you want to make an unnecessary purchase that will run up the balances of your cards.
3. Call your Card Companies
If you want something, you should ask. That motto applies to lowering your credit card debt as well. One of the biggest downfalls to having a credit card is the fact that you have to pay interest on your outstanding balances. The lower your interest rate, the less you will have to pay in interest. To lower your interest rates, all you have to do is call your credit card company and ask if there is any way they can lower your balance. Many companies don’t want to lose your business, especially if you always make your payment on time and are a good customer. They are willing to help you by lowering your interest rate if you simply ask.
4. Pay As Much as Possible
Everyone knows that the best way to make your credit card payments is to pay more than the minimum balance. This is always true. The minimum balance is designed to have you pay just more than the interest your card incurs each month, which means it will take you years longer to pay off your balances. By paying more than the minimum each month, you are ensuring that the balance of your card is being lowered and that the interest that incurs is less than it would be with a larger outstanding balance.
5. Pay Higher Interest Rates First
If you haven’t much money to spare each month, the best thing you can do to pay off your debts faster is to pay any additional funds you have to the card with the highest interest rate to pay it off faster. Once you pay the balance of this card off, you can use what you were sending as a payment to that card to add to the payment you are already making to the card with the next highest balance. By continuing this trend until you have no more debt, you will pay it off years faster and thousands of dollars will be saved in interest rates.
6. Consider a Professional Debt Consolidation Company
Many people simply cannot afford their credit card payments anymore and find they have to look for help. A debt consolidation program could be your answer. This is a program that will help you to pay your cards off faster by consolidating them into one large payment rather than multiple small payments. Your payment will go to a debt consolidation company and will be dispersed amongst your creditors each month so that your payments are always on time and always made. Additionally, debt consolidation programs will work with your credit card companies to lower your monthly payments and your interest rates to help you pay your bills off faster. Typically, a debt consolidation program means your debts will be paid off in 36 months or less.
These six tips are designed to help you understand your options when it comes to paying off your credit card debt. Understanding what you need to do to keep from getting into more trouble can help you to pay off your debts as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.