Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel you give and give and it’s just never enough? Well, credit card debt can be a lot like that. Of course, at first you may have been the one doing the taking, but nevertheless you’re now in a position where it just seems like you’re making payment after monthly payment without ever feeling like there is an end in sight. Well, even if you have large amounts of credit card debt with accruing interest fees, there still is a way you can get out and enjoy the life of being free from the choking hold of credit cards. Here we will highlight some of the most effective ways you can get yourself out of credit card debt:
Know Where You Stand
Many may have a rough figure in their head of how much they owe in credit card debt, but most people grossly underestimate the actual number. Take into account your interest rate and add that to your overall balance. Once you have a solid figure in mind you can then begin planning for how you will pay it off.
Seek a Lower Interest Rate
You may think that you are stuck with the interest rate that you currently have on your credit card(s), but you can always request a lower rate. Sure, you will be assessed based on your credit score, but every credit card company has their own way of determining if you qualify for a lower interest rate. Even if you get a small percentage point lower it can end up saving you hundreds of dollars. That’s a pretty good start. All you have to do is ask.
Pay More Than the Minimum
Add up the minimum payments from all of your credit cards and that will be the total minimum payment you have to pay each month; however, paying simply the minimum will take you a long time to become debt free while also paying high amounts of interest fees. Paying the minimum is rarely the way. Order your credit cards from highest interest rate to lowest. Focus on paying more on the card with the highest amount of interest, then pay the minimum on the others. Once that high interest card is paid off you can then focus on paying more on the next card with high interest. Whether it’s an additional $20 or $100 per month, paying more on the high interest cards will save you in the long run.
Leave Your Cards at Home
Sometimes having the card in your wallet or purse is just too much temptation. If you have cards that are merely meant for fun, entertainment, restaurants, or casual shopping, then it’s probably best to leave them at home. Another wise thing would be to remove the card number from online shopping accounts that also tempt you like Amazon or other online retailers. This will help you not spend more while working towards paying off your balance.
Create a Budget
There are many individuals and households who avoid making set budgets simply out of laziness or fear of math. It’s not that difficult. Sometimes, all you need to do is have concrete numbers on how much you spend each month on necessities (rent, mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries, etc.), and then you can see where you are spending excess. Once you see where your excess money is going it becomes easier to cut back. Most are shocked when they learn how much they spend a month eating at restaurants on top of the typical groceries they buy. See where you can cut back and then use that money for paying off your credit cards.
There are many more tips you can find that will help you climb out of credit card debt, but we feel that these five we mentioned will help you get a good start. Whether you have a balance of $4,000 or $40,000, following these tips will help you get out of the red.