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There are four types of debt in America, including home, auto, student, and credit card debt. Over 180 million Americans have credit card debt. Each person has at least four credit cards, carrying a minimum of $8,000 of debt. Use these personal financial tips to help you eliminate your credit card debt.
Take Inventory and Get Organized
Take inventory of each credit card you have with these three aspects in mind:
- Outstanding balance
- Minimum payment
- Interest rate
You should have access to this information using your online access account, but if not, you can use your paper statements. Once you have your statements in hand, organize them from the highest to the lowest interest rate. You can also organize and rank your credit cards according to the highest and lowest balance.
Total Your Maximum Payments And Get a Side Gig
Each of your credit cards has monthly minimum payments, the least amount of money you can pay each month. Your goal is to get out of debt, so you need to pay more than the monthly minimum because the interest rate takes most of the payment leaving very little going toward your actual balance. Use your budget to help you determine how much money you can set aside for credit card debt. Whether you are able to pay $5 or more than the minimum monthly payment, every cent makes a difference.
A second job or side hustle could help a lot. A temporary additional income for the sole purpose of paying off your debt will clear your balances in no time, and improve your credit to boot. Once you pay off the balances, you could use this income solely for your savings or as a bank to pay unexpected charges you may incur because of emergencies.
Contact the Credit Card Company or Create a Plan of Your Own
Contacting the credit company may seem far-fetched, but it is still a way to get things done. The worst the company can say is no. When you call the company, ask for a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate can help you catch up and will lower your monthly payments. Just keep in mind that the minimum payment doesn’t really address the balance.
If you have been on time with your payments the past few months, the company may be more inclined to work with you. Sometimes plans, such as the snowball plan or plans created by credit companies, do not help you as much in your current financial situation. If they don’t, you need to create a plan that works best for you.
Plan a strict budget for the next six months to a year. Any items that are not a necessity should be avoided. Be practical about what you consider a necessity. Household bills, gas and insurance for your car, and cell phone services are necessities. Eat more meals at home, they are better for you anyway. Just because something is on sale for a great price doesn’t mean you need it or that it even fits in your budget. It’s not a good deal if you cannot afford it. You can also use helpful software and apps like budgetry, cashry, and the information found at www.accury.com to help with credit debt relief.
Do not Apply for More Credit Cards
It may be tempting, but don’t apply for more credit cards. You may also be thinking about transferring your credit card debt, which is not entirely bad, but if you can, you should avoid it. Whether you’re considering applying for major credit cards, store credit cards, or other credit cards, you will put yourself further in debt. Applying for more credit cards can also lower your credit score. Try to think of your credit cards as charge cards that must have a zero balance at the end of every billing cycle.
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