Cash The Checks Personal Finance Blog

How To Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

Some people have a great time charging up their credit card balances. They live life to the fullest, using their credit cards to live beyond their means to buy fancy dinners, a nice vacation and expensive clothing they could not otherwise afford. Others fully intended to use their credit cards responsibly when they opened their account. They may have only applied for a credit card for use in emergency situations. However, emergency after emergency cropped up, and the debt balance grew. Regardless of how you accumulated credit card debt, one thing is for certain. Now this debt needs to be paid off.

Different Strategies

Millions of people today are seeking credit card debt relief through one strategy or another. Some are consolidating credit cards to lower monthly payments and pay down balances more quickly. Others are living drastically beneath their means to find additional money that can be used to pay down debt balances. Some are filing for bankruptcy as a means to eliminate debt. There are different strategies to consider, but the first one you should try is to pay debts down on your own. By making a few small budgetary changes, you may be able to free up a considerable amount of cash that can be used to pay debt balances down more quickly.

Initial Steps

First, contact all of your credit card companies to request a lower interest rate. Some credit card companies will reduce your rate based on a simple request. If you have a good history of making payments on time they are more likely to lower your interest rate. This step alone can help you to make your monthly payments more effective.

As a second step, review your monthly budget. Consider ways you can reduce each and every expense on your budget, then make those changes. For example, you may be able to save money on groceries by giving up your nightly ice cream habit. You may be able to save on your utility bill by adjusting your thermostat, or reduce your cell phone bill by switching to a more affordable plan. Almost every expense you pay for may be reduced in some way. This money saved can then be applied toward credit card payments.

Focus On One Debt At a Time

Some experts advise you to focus on the credit card with the smallest balance first, paying every extra penny you have toward that  credit card until it is paid in full. Others advise you to focus on the account with the highest interest rate such as a fast cash type of loan.

There are different strategies you can follow, but the most important thing is to concentrate on one account and pay it off fully. Continue to make minimum payments on all accounts except for one, which you will pay as much money toward as possible. As debts are paid off, use that extra money from the payment you no longer need to make to pay extra money toward other debts. For example, if you started out making $700 per month in credit card payments, you will want to continue to pay $700 per month in credit card payments until every last cent is paid back.

Understanding how to pay off debt is a first step, but you should be aware that it takes a significant amount of regular effort to pay credit cards off in full. This is a months-long or even years-long process. While some people can pay their credit card debt off on their own with considerable effort, others may need assistance.

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