Credit card debt is a huge burden on many Americans. Once you have accumulated the debt, it feels like it is impossible to get out from under. While getting your current spending under control is the first step (and you may need a financial counselor to help you); there are some things you can do to help pay down the debt.
Here are some strategies on paying off that credit card debt.
- Paying more than the minimum. This is a must. Dig through your cash flow and find a way to cut out expenses, so you can increase your monthly payment to the credit card.
- Use the calendar to your advantage. If you can make more than a minimum payment, a proven way to pay more is by make separate additional payments. Try making a separate half payment every 14 days.
- Laddering. Most people with credit card debt have debt on multiple cards. Make a list of all the cards, what their interest rate is and what the monthly payment is. Most times the best course of action is to pay the highest rate cards first. But if you find that you have a few small balances, it is best to pay them off quickly, so you free up more cash flow for payments on the other cards.
- Ignore the debt settlement companies. I know they sound like they can solve your problems, but their strategy usually ends up screwing up your credit. After you pay them a fee and possibly a monthly retainer, they tell you to stop making your payments and build up your cash. They then try to get the credit card companies desperate to negotiate a reduced payoff settlement. Just don’t do it.
If you just can’t get that debt paid down, look to a financial planner or other legitimate source. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is another good place to get help. www.NFCC.org
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