Ah…the Great American Dream! We can have anything we want. Can’t afford it right away? No problem- just charge it to the credit card and it’s yours! Sounds great, until you remember that at some point someone will have to pay off the credit card, and that someone is you! Which can get a little sticky if you keep charging things without keeping track of how much you’re spending. The bills can add up and so can the debt, which can stay with you for a long time. And that’s no fun. Here are some tips for paying down that debt and paying off those credit cards faster than you thought you could:
1. Always pay off the minimum balance:
This should be a must-do for you each month, so make it a financial priority. Doing this will help you avoid adding even more interest. And always pay by the time it’s due to avoid late fees and penalties.
2. Pay more than the minimum balance:
If you can manage to do this, you’ll pay off the total debt faster and pay less interest overall.
3. Consolidate your debt:
Find a credit card with a low or 0% balance transfer and move all your debt to that card. It’s easier to keep track of one bill and you’ll save in interest.
If you do have more than one card to pay off, work on paying off the one with the highest interest rate first.
5. Put away the cards:
Out of sight, out of mind. Hide your credit cards so you won’t be tempted to use them. Make a budget and operate only with cash. Don’t close your accounts, though, because that may negatively affect your credit score.
6. Have one card that you use:
Of course there are certain things that must be paid by credit card, so designate one for those expenses- and pay in full every month.
7. Make some lifestyle changes:
Spend less each month and dedicate a larger part of your budget to paying down your credit card debt.
It never hurts to ask, so call credit card companies and ask for lower interest rates. You might even get a “yes” or some other advantages that can help you.
Do you have any tips for paying off credit card debt? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!