It’s a sad but true fact. The average American household is struggling to pay off at least $15,000 in credit card debt. And, if you’re one of them, you probably already know just how terribly hard it is to get rid of your debt because of high interest rates.
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Of course, getting into debt in the first place may be unavoidable. I suppose for most of us it’s a way of life. So be sure to enter to win the PCH Eliminate Debt Sweepstakes and in the meantime, I’ll share a few tips on how to handle the credit card debt you’ve got now with a more traditional approach! If you don’t do something soon, that debt is going to stay with you for many, many years to come. Start chipping away at your debt using one of the methods mentioned below and you could find yourself on the way to being debt-free.
Focus On One Card at a Time
If you have had credit cards for any length of time, then you know all too well that paying just your monthly minimum payments will have hardly any effect on the total amount of your debt. So, if you want to get serious about trimming your debt, you’ll have to find a way to start drastically reducing your credit card balances.
One of the most trusted ways to accomplish this is to focus on just one card at a time. Continue paying the monthly minimums to all of your other cards, but pay more toward the card you are targeting. By paying more than the amount due, you will start chipping away at that card’s balance until it is finally paid off. When you reach that milestone, select another card and continue the process until your cards are all paid off.
Pay More Than the Monthly Amount Due
If you look at your credit card statement, you’ll see a little box that tells you how long it will take to pay off the debt when you pay just the amount that’s due. Most of the time, you’re looking at several years of being in debt for that card alone.
But, if you have the funds available, you can pay more than the amount that’s due and this will start cutting down your debt quickly. Every dollar you pay that’s over the minimum goes directly toward paying off your balance, so even if it’s a dollar, every little bit helps. Eventually, your debt will start dropping and with it, the amount you are paying in interest.
Consolidate Your Debt
If you have several high interest credit cards, then you might be able to enjoy a substantial savings by consolidating the debt either through a debt consolidation loan, a home equity loan, or a low interest credit card with special balance transfer rates. Regardless of which you choose, you will be charged significantly lower interest rates, allowing more of your money to go toward paying off your credit card debt and not toward interest.
There you have it. I hope you found these friendly tips helpful to help you manage your finances in the meantime, and I’ll leave you with just one more reminder to enter to win the PCH Eliminate Debt Sweepstakes. Best of luck to you all!
For Publishers Clearing House