Many consumers find that they have been out of control with their credit cards. It is so easy to think when something is on sale that you really need it, and can just put it on the credit card and pay it off when the bill arrives. But often times when the bill arrives, the money may not be there to pay it off, so just the minimum payment is made. This cycles over and over and before the individual knows it, there is a very high balance due on the credit card. So how can one eliminate credit card debt for good? Follow these no fail solutions to reduce what you owe on the credit cards.
The first thing that one needs to do to eliminate credit card debt is to stop using credit cards so much. If you do not make a purchase with your credit card, you can focus on working on paying it down much faster. Or if you must pay with credit cards, have the money before hand and as soon as you make the purchase, send the money along its way to the credit card company. This will ensure that charge is not added onto what you owe for a balance. But remember, in addition to sending in this payment, you should also make another payment to get ahead.
Always pay more than the minimum that is due. Look on your credit card statement and see the section where it says how long it will take you to pay off the amount due if no additional charges are made, and only the minimum payment due is received. Under this, there should be another payment where it states how much you will save if you pay that amount. Aim to pay this amount. If you can not afford to pay that amount, then pay the amount you feel comfortable paying. Even adding just a few dollars to the minimum payment can sometimes make a difference.
Next, if you have several cards, pay down the one with the highest interest first. This way you are not paying as much on interest. If you can, try and negotiate your high interest cards for lower interest rates by calling the credit card company. You might possibly say that you are interested in going with another credit card company that offered you a much more attractive rate and thought about doing a balance transfer but first wanted to check and see if they could offer you anything better. Chances are, they are not going to want to loose your business, so they may offer you a lower interest rate. If they are not willing to work with you on this, consider moving your balance to another card that has a lower rate. Make sure that this is the best thing for you, and check into balance transfer fees as you do not want to get socked a bunch of fees.
If you do not have money to pay more than the minimum amount due on your credit cards, think about eliminating other bills that you have to get ahead on credit cards. Look at all the bills that you have, and decide what you really need. Do you need to have the most expensive cell phone plan? Most likely, you do not. See if you can reduce your monthly amount on this, and take that money you have saved and put it towards your credit cards. Do you really need to have all the channels on your cable? Consider cutting back on this, and use that money for your credit cards instead. See if you can bundle your phone line, cable, and internet with a company. This will allow you to have reduced rates by bundling.
Now look at all the extras that you spend on a daily basis. Do you buy soda from the vending machine at work or eat in the cafeteria for lunch? If you buy one pop a day, and get lunch everyday, you may be spending an extra $25 or more each week. Consider bringing your lunch from home, and see how much you can save. If you get a coffee each morning on the way to work, consider making it at home instead. All these little charges add up, and the money that is saved can be used to pay down credit card debt.
Consider eating out less and use this money to put towards credit card debt. Even eating out once a week can add up. If you do not feel like cooking, then have some easy foods in the house to prepare, such as lunch meat, stuff for salads, and canned soups. Or have a weekend where you make a bunch of freezer meals to just pop into the oven when you get home. Eating out is expensive, especially when you have more than one to buy for.
Looking for ways to cut back on not only your credit card spending, but on spending all together will come in handy for when trying to reduce the amount of credit card debt you have. It may be a challenge at first to get used to, but once you do, you will see that it is really the best way to live in order to get ahead on credit card debt.
*The above content is for informational purpose only. It does not constitute professional financial advice. If you have more questions, please reach out to a financial advisor for more information.