How To Reduce Your Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is something that plagues millions of people around the world. Whether the debt is from irresponsible spending habits or a forced debt caused by the loss of a job, unexpected emergency medical bills and the need to purchase necessary items, credit card debt doesn’t care about your financial situation or responsibility with money; it can affect everyone. And unfortunately, credit card debt can ruin lives and even relationships.
Easing The Burdens Of Credit Card Debt
Taking control of credit card debt can seem intimidating and even impossible to some, but it can be done. It isn’t an easy road, but it is a necessary one. The relief and sense of accomplishment you will feel when you are finally out of debt will make this arduous journey worth it in the end.
How to control credit card debt
One of the easiest ways to gain control of your credit card debt and pay it off faster is to take stock of what you have to pay. Start by making a list of all your credit card bills, the amount owed on each and the interest rate you have on each. You should also take note of the minimum monthly payment due on each.
Next, make a list of all your monthly expenses; include everything from your regular bills to your regular expenses such as gas and groceries. It is imperative you know where your money is going and how much extra you have each month that you can designate toward paying off your credit card debt. Subtract the amount you owe each month from the amount you bring in and make a note of how much extra cash you have each month. Remember to stop using your credit cards completely.
Now, pick the card with the highest interest rate. It doesn’t matter if the balance on this particular card is the highest or the lowest. Credit cards with high interest rates cost more to own. Concentrate paying any extra funds you have each month to the card with the highest balance until it is paid off in full. CNBC refers to this as the avalanche payment strategy.
Once it is paid in full, contribute the amount you were making on that monthly payment to the card with the next highest interest rate. The additional payment you will be making to the next highest card will have your card paid off much faster. Do this in this order until all of your cards are paid off in full.
Reducing Credit Card Debt
Make payments more often.
Rather than making just one large payment to your cards on the due date each month, make half payments every other week. This works because a few months of the year there are more than two weeks in the month, and the result is that twice a year you will be making two additional payments, which will save you hundreds – maybe thousands, depending on the amount of your debt.
Always make more than the minimum payment.
If you cannot afford to make more than the minimum payment on all cards, focus your extra funds on the ones with the highest interest rate. If you can afford more than the minimum on each card, pay it. The more you pay, the less interest you accrue, the more money you save and the faster you pay off your credit card debt.
Use your savings.
Many people are too scared to use their savings to pay their debt. This is because they want the funds in case of an emergency. However, credit card debt costs more in the long run than it is worth. If you use your savings to pay off your credit card debt and then you have an emergency without those funds, you can always use a credit card to pay for the emergency and then quickly pay it off.
It is much less expensive this way than it is to let your savings sit and your debt grow. You can also use any unexpected funds to pay your debts. An income tax refund or another unexpected receipt of cash can help you pay your debt, which gives you additional money each month that you can begin to save or to use to make life a little easier on you and your family.
Negotiate a lower interest rate.
Calling your credit card companies and negotiating a lower interest rate on your cards is also a good idea. The worst they can say is no; otherwise you will save money by having your rates lowered.
There is no simple way to pay your debts unless you come into money unexpectedly. However, there are easier ways to pay your credit card debts than you currently are utilizing. The important thing is that you learn to manage your spending and reduce your debt as soon as possible. Not only will it relieve your stress, as Consumer Affairs explains that debt accounts for a large share of a person’s stress level, it will free your financial future.
I’ve Tried All These Debt Reduction Tips And I’m Still Drowning In Debt!
You have probably heard most of these debt reduction tips before. However, you are still unable to get a handle on your debts. If you find yourself in this situation you have to resort to more drastic measures.
You can find out how to consolidate your debt through debt settlement and reduce what you owe to your creditors by up to 50% in less than 24 months. This allows you to pay off your credit card debt when all other methods have failed. It is a better alternative to bankruptcy and can have you debt free much sooner.