Zapping Credit Card Debt
Tips to Eliminating Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is among the most debilitating types of debt a person can have. Interest rates tend to be quite high. The impact of this type of debt on your credit score and report can be devastating.
But if you do owe money on a credit card, do not feel discouraged. Credit card debt is also one of the most common types of debt. Many others have been where you are (and will be again) and got through it.
A 2012 article from Time magazine offered the following straightforward tips for eliminating credit card debt.
One at a Time
If you owe money across several cards, you might feel especially overwhelmed – getting reminder after reminder, bill after bill from each of your debt-holders. Paying off credit cards one at a time by paying minimums on all but one card (typically the one with the highest interest rate) can often feel more productive and rewarding then spreading payments across all cards.
If your interest rates are extremely high, it may be worth calling the card issuer and asking for a lower interest rate. The bank may be willing to lower your rate (especially to match that of a competitor, as an incentive for signing up for automatic payment, and/or if you have been faithfully making payments).
Using debt to get out of debt is obviously not a sustainable long-term solution. But if you can pay off your credit cards with a loan that carries a 20% lower APR, you will save significant time and money by doing so. Consider a peer-to-peer lending platform where people who have been similarly situated in the past may be willing to offer much more agreeable terms than you would find elsewhere.
Make Additional Payments
The ideal would be to pay your entire credit card balance every month. Oftentimes doing so is simply not possible. Pay what you can and any additional amount will be deducted directly from the principle. Making a separate and additional payment in lieu of merely a larger payment is often even smarter, as it has the potential to shrink the principle before interest can be added to that month’s payment.