Nearly half of all households in the country have substantial credit card debt. Your credit card debt may not have been worrisome to you in the past, but with the financial crisis in full swing and prices for everyday items through the roof, you may have become concerned about the amount of money you have going out to pay credit card and other bills as compared to the amount of income coming in.
You are not alone in your concerns – most families are struggling to meet previous obligations while paying outrageous prices for housing, groceries, and gasoline just to survive. You can take steps to pay off your credit cards and live a life free of high interest and minimum monthly payments, starting today.
Make A Commitment To Pay Off Your Debt
The secret to paying off your credit cards lies in your commitment to do so. Most credit card companies offer you the option of just paying the minimum monthly payment. This feature comes in handy if you are strapped for cash, but paying just this small amount each month means you will take many, many years (a decade or longer) to pay the bill in full.
In most instances, the minimum monthly payment does not even cover the interest that is charged to your account each month. You can just imagine that paying off your credit card balance in this manner could be a never-ending activity. A better way to pay on your credit card is to make at least double the minimum payment or triple that amount if you can possible swing it.
Negotiate A Better Rate
You should also all your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit card. Most credit card companies are willing to at least discuss this option if you have been a good customer who has made diligent and on-time payments. It never hurts to ask, and you might negotiate to knock off a couple points in interest – even if you have to make repeated requests.
Transfer To Zero Interest
You might also consider transferring your credit card balances over to a new credit card that features zero percent interest on balance transfers. Be sure to read the fine print in order to get this great rate for at least the first year. During that time, you should be able to pay down most of your credit card debt by making extra payments above the minimum monthly payment.
Consolidate Your Card Balances
Another option is to consolidate your credit card debt into a credit card consolidation loan. This would be a loan that pays off the principle of all the cards that you own – and you would, in turn, repay the lender of your credit card consolidation loan in monthly instalments. Taking out a consolidation loan for your credit card debt can allow you to pay off all your balances at once and negotiate a payment amount that suits your budget. Do not plan to pay longer than five years on your consolidation loan – this will save you tons on interest.
Shop Online And Save
You might shop online to receive great balance transfer options for new credit cards as well as credit card consolidation loans. Online lenders often offer lesser interest rates than traditional banks and have higher rates of approval for borrowers of all credit types, including those with less-than-perfect credit histories, derogatory credit files, or those with limited credit.