How To Eliminate Credit Card Debt Credit card
If you are trying to eliminate credit card debt, I am sure you already know that it is a daunting task. But all you need to be successful is a solid plan of action.
You will also need persistence and self-discipline to get rid of your credit card debt. But once you see your balances start to go down, you’ll get a surge of excitement that will help keep you motivated.
Here’s what we’ll cover ahead of time:
Whatever you do, don’t skip this step. It’s easy to fall into denial if you have credit card debt. Or you might be vaguely aware that you spent too much money in restaurants last month, but unless you dig a little deeper into why you got takeout 27 times, you might be making the same mistake again. .
So take a deep breath and think about what led to your debt. For example, people sometimes go into debt because they don’t have a budget. This often results in overspending. Even if you have a budget but don’t keep track of spending, you’re unlikely to stay under budget because you don’t know how much you’ve spent.
Here’s the deal: you need to create a budget and track expenses. If you don’t, you’ll run into credit card debt. And credit card debt is toxic.
There are two types of debt: good debt and bad debt. With a mortgage, you are making payments on an investment that will hopefully increase in value over time. A mortgage is an example of good debt because you have a chance to increase your equity.
But credit card debt is an example of bad debt. If you still pay your entire bill during the grace period, you’ll get an interest-free loan. But if you carry a balance you end up losing money. Compound interest increases your debt more and more. If you only make minimum payments, the debt will grow even faster.
To make matters worse, having high credit card balances lowers your credit score. You have a use of credit factor, which is the amount of credit you used versus the amount of credit you have. For example, if you have a credit limit of $ 1,500 and you have a balance of $ 1,000, your ratio is 67% (1,000 / 1,500).
You should never have a ratio greater than 30% to maintain a good FICO score. That would be a balance, in this example, of no more than $ 500. But to really boost your score, keep the ratio below 10%.
So you can see how credit card debt can lower your score. Once your debt starts going down, you will see your score increase. But that assumes you’ve stopped using credit cards while paying off your debt. My Debt Reduction Rule: Don’t add to your debt while you’re trying to get rid of it.
It’s time for the fun part! Gather your financial records, whether in print or online, and get ready to take action.
For each credit card account, list the name of the card, the annual percentage rate, and the balance. Below, I’ll explain each strategy and give tips to help you choose the right one:
If you still have great credit, you may be eligible for a balance transfer card. These cards offer an introductory APR of 0% for a period of time, for example 12 to 18 months. This gives you a chance to pay off your debt without paying interest.
But if you don’t have a high enough FICO score to qualify, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan.
This is a good idea if you need to combine multiple credit card balances or different types of debt into one installment loan. Unfortunately, you won’t get a 0% interest rate, but you will likely get a rate lower than the APR on your credit cards.
This is considered a personal loan, and if you have good enough credit, you might get approved. Shop around, however, and get the best rate you can qualify for.
If you decide to tackle your debt on your own, one option is called the Debt Avalanche. You pay your credit card balances from the highest APR to the lowest APR. The best feature of this method is that you save the most money because you get rid of high APR debt first.
What if you needed a quick psychological boost to stay motivated? Then try the debt snowball method. Here, you pay off your balances from the smallest debt to the largest debt. You will pay more interest this way, so this is a significant weakness of this approach.
If you want the best of both worlds, take a look at my own creation, The Debt Blizzard. Start with the snowball method and quickly get an adrenaline rush. Then switch to the avalanche to save more money.
If things are going so bad that you don’t think you can climb your debt mountain, consider seeking help.
You can find an accredited credit counseling agency through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. You will receive a free phone session, in most cases, to help you choose the best debt reduction option.
Just asking for help won’t affect your credit score. Now, if you finally decide to enter a debt management plan or declare bankruptcy, your score will drop.
But the most important thing to do is to stop the madness. You will get back on your feet and your credit score will recover over time.