6 ways to reduce credit card debt faster
Most of us have got stuck in some sort of heavy credit card debt at one time in our life. Driven ourselves into a deep credit card debt pit that we are not sure we can climb out of. Once you get out of credit card debt you always say that you will never get yourself back in, but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you just have to learn a little bit of discipline and know a few tricks on how to get out of credit card debt so you never get in again. The first time you get into debt it often seems crushing and you wonder how you are going to survive. But fear not (always wanted to say that) you can get out of debt and recover. Here are a few ways that will help you.
Make a budget
First and foremost, we cannot tell you how important this is. Until you understand how much money you have coming in and how much money you have going out you cannot fix anything. It is important that you write down every single expense that you have. That includes buying cookies from the vending machine at the office. Once you know how much is coming in, and where it’s going, and where you can cut expenses, then you’re on the right path to fix it.
Focus on one card at a time
Ideally, the best way to get out of debt the fastest is to pay the highest interest rate cards that you have. If you want to feel more emotional satisfaction for paying off a single card, pay off the card with the lowest balance, but if you want to get out the debt faster, the highest interest rate is the way to go.
Pay off more than you can afford
What we really mean here is don’t just pay the minimum, pay as much as you can every month until it hurts. Instead of going out to that meal, use that money to pay a credit card. Pretend you are a starving college student and live that way for a while. Yes, we know that’s a bit of a struggle, but the stress of that is less than the stress of being deep in credit card debt.
Get a new card
If you have good credit, you may be able to get a new credit card that has a promotion for transferring balances. Very often these promotions are zero interest or extremely low interest for a period of time. Once you transfer the balance, it is not an excuse to use those cards that are empty again. Once you transfer the balance, cut the other cards up or lock them away so they’re out of your reach. Once you transfer the balance, your payment should be a lot lower, but you should still pay until it hurts. This is only a stop-gap measure to get them paid off faster.
Another way you can pay them all off is to get a low-interest loan from the bank. Not everyone has this option, however, but if you do, it is a good way to get rid of all the credit card debt you have. Remember, however, this does not mean you can use your credit cards again. The object here is to pay that loan off as fast you can. As the loan will generally have a lower interest rate, it will allow you to pay off the balance faster.
Ask the credit card company for a lower interest rate
If you have been a good customer of the credit card company you can often call them and negotiate a lower interest rate. Again, this is not going to fix everything, but if you’re serious about paying everything off as fast as you can, this will stop the extra interest that can build up that you would have to pay. Depending on your balance this can be substantial.
Paying off all your credit card debt is not rocket science. It just takes a bit of discipline and understanding where your money goes. Just to give you a simple example, you go to Starbucks and buy a coffee every morning on the way to work and it costs you $4. That’s nothing. However, over a year, that coffee is costing you well over a thousand dollars. Will a thousand dollars help you end one of those credit cards? So, understand your finances and what you spend completely and that will go a long way for you to end the stress of credit card debt. If you only ever pay the minimums, just imagine you have that debt for 20 years, as that’s what it’s going to take. Oh, as a final note, after you pay a card off, as much as you want to close the account, don’t, as it will affect your credit negatively. Just lock them away. Good luck and pay cash.