Do you carry any credit card debt? Are you looking for opportunities to pull yourself out of debt and stop the vicious cycle? People who get into credit card debt often make the situation worse by paying only the minimum monthly payment. Credit card companies actually prefer this and make it easy for their card holders to follow this pattern.
So how can you take the steps to start paying off credit card debt instead of making it worse? You can start by following one or more of the steps listed below. Each of the listed items requires some personal sacrifice but can be well worth the effort.
10 Tips for Paying off Credit Card DebtHere are 10 simple tips that you can take action on today to put you in a better position for paying off credit card debt.
- Identify Your Debt - In order to take control of your credit card debt, you first need to figure out the basics. How many cards do I carry debt on? What is the current interest rate I am paying on each? What balance do I carry on each card? If you can answer these questions, then you can make a plan and start to take action.
- Consider Peer Loans - Taking out a peer loan provides a new opportunity for paying off credit card debt. A peer loan can often be taken out at a much lower interest rate than what your credit card provider is offering. Prosper and Lending Club are just a few of the companies that offer peer loans for borrowers and lenders.
- Consolidate Debt - Debt consolidation can play a major role in paying off credit card debt quickly. If you have multiple cards that have different interest rates, look into consolidating the debt to a lower rate. Pay attention to any additional fees that may show up as a result of debt consolidation.
- Stop Taking on New Debt - Since you are working at paying off credit card debt on existing cards, why would you even think of taking on more debt? Sounds like common sense, but is something you need to make sure you don't do.
- Snowball Your Debt - A popular debt reduction strategy, snowballing debt tackles one account at a time. Try and focus on paying off the debt on one credit card by making extra payments, while paying the minimum balance on the others. Once the first credit card is paid off, turn your attention to the next. Continue this process until you are free of credit card debt.
- Ask Family Members for Help - Not always easy (or recommended), but asking family members for a loan to pay off credit card debt may be an option. Try to offer them an interest rate that you plan to pay them back on. Take the loan from your family member and use it to pay off your credit card debt. Try and treat this as a business transaction and leave the personal relationship out of the equation.
- Cut Back on Spending - The less you spend, the more money you will have allocated to paying of credit card debt. Look to temporarily cut your cable, cell phone, or other non-essential accounts to come up with more money. Use this savings to pay down your credit card debt. Desperate times call for sacrifice in order to meet your goals.
- Call Your Credit Card Provider - It doesn't always work, but calling your credit card provider may be another option to help you pay off your credit card debt. Ask them if they would be willing to lower your interest rate, which should help you pay off the debt much sooner.
- Sell Off Assets - Selling off some of your assets provides another option to pay off credit card debt. Do you have an extra car sitting around that you don't need? Maybe you have some stock that has made a nice run up? Assets from these items could be used to help pay down your debt. Just be sure that it makes sense to sell some of your assets before you take action and are doing yourself more harm.
- Earn More Income - Another simple but effective strategy for paying off credit card debt is to increase your income. Even a few extra dollars every month can go a really long way towards paying down your balance. If you want to try something quick and easy, look at writing articles for eHow or Info Barrel as a FREE option to earn some additional monthly income.
Final ThoughtsPaying off credit card debt is not an easy thing to do. If it were, people would not have this problem and the world economy would be in much better shape. Pulling yourself out of debt requires patience and sacrifice. You may need to change your daily life (i.e. cutting your cable bill) for a while in order to achieve this goal.
No matter how you plan to pay down your credit card debt, always remember that it is up to you. You must take responsibility for the debt that you have incurred and work to clean it up. There is no better feeling that at the end of the day you can become debt free. It will change your life forever!