Many families and individuals rack up a stack of credit card debt, and many are living from one pay check to the next which means that if they experience a major expense or employment disruption, they’re going to start skipping bills.
If you have a pile of credit card debt that doesn’t seem to be going down, you’re probably walking a tightrope. But, there are a few simple things you can do to start digging yourself out of this situation.
Cut up your credit cards
The first step must be to stop relying on your credit cards to buy things. At the very least, you should aim to cover your monthly expenses from your current bank account, which can help you pay off or at least minimize your debt. Cut up your credit cards today to put a halt on your growing credit debt.
Delete card information from online stores
Many of us shop online with our credit cards, and many online stores actually store the credit card number. If this is you, delete your information from those stores. If you have signed up for a recurring service, make use of a debit card from a credit card service and have it linked to your checking account.
Devise a payment plan
Sit down and make a list of your credit cards, and then order them either by balance or interest rate. Overall, the interest rate plan will have the lowest total payoff, but the balance plan may be easier for you to achieve. Once you have made your plan, aim to make a minimum of a double payment every month to the bill at the top of your list and then keep making that same payment each month. Once you’ve paid that debt off, don’t stop there – take what you were paying each month and apply it to the next credit card debt.
Use balance transfers when applicable
If you seem to have a high interest credit card with a balance that is small enough for you to pay off within a couple of months, think about transferring it to another card that has a zero-interest balance transfer. Take note that you have to pay off your debt before the balance transfer expires, but if you plan properly, you can save heaps on interest doing this.
Reset a few habits
Chances are, your everyday routines and habits are what got you into debt in the first place. So, spend a little time seriously thinking about how you spend money every day, every week, and even every month. Think about the routines you can change without having much impact on your quality of life. Maybe you could eat out less, of cancel your Netflix account. Maybe you love buying books every week and you end up spending way more than you should. Just change your routine by cutting back on how often you visit book stores, or rather borrow from the library.
Dealing with credit card debt doesn’t need to be has hard as it sounds. The financial reward of facing your debts head on is tremendous.