Millions of people are millions of dollars in debt with credit cards. Their premise seems so simple: you get what you want now and pay later. But, what happens is that most people don’t pay off their entire balances as soon as they get their credit card bill, so “later” becomes “much later” and ends up costing a whole lot more than the original purchase price. It’s easy to tell you to pay off your balances right away, but what if you’re already in credit card debt? These tips will help you fight your current credit card debt.
Choose Your Payment Strategies
There are numerous credit card debt reduction strategies that will help you pay off your debt as soon as possible, which is the key to not paying more than necessary. You can combine several strategies to speed up your paid-in-full date. Just make sure you commit to your strategies once you’ve chosen them. While you can always change your strategies midstream, sticking to them is what will pull you out of debt.
Debt reduction strategies that work include paying more than the minimum balance on your cards, creating a debt snowball by paying off your smallest debt first and then combining that payment with whatever you’re paying toward your second lowest amount and so on, and creating a debt avalanche by paying off the card with the highest interest amount first instead of the smallest debt. Choosing two of these strategies is a strong start to getting out of debt. Then, automate your payments so you never miss one and incur late charges.
Explore Debt Consolidation
People who have good credit, but lots of credit card debt may consider consolidating that debt into a single account with a single payment. This will allow you to make one payment each month rather than several small payments that make you feel like you’re barely chipping away at your debt. There are a couple of ways to consolidate your loan without using an agency to help you.
First, you can apply for a 0% interest credit card, which will apply no interest to your balance for an introductory period of usually a year to 18 months. This will allow you to make payments without incurring any additional debt, which can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Second, you can apply for a personal loan, which will usually have a lower interest rate than a credit card. You can pay off your credit card debt with your personal loan amount and make a single payment on your loan each month.
Contact Your Creditors
Credit card companies can often change the terms of your card by reducing interest or offering a hardship program, particularly for long-time customers with a good track record of payments. It never hurts to contact your creditors and ask them how they can help you pay off your debt earlier. Even a small change can make a big difference to your ability to make payments on your debt.
If you’ve found yourself in debt to credit card companies and you’re not sure how to get out of debt, these steps should help. If you’re unable to get a handle on your own finances, you can always reach out to a debt counselor to help you create a customized plan to get you back on firm ground.