It's so easy to become wholly overcome by and freaked out about your credit card debt. You see numbers that you think you'll never be able to obtain and there's so much pressure to "pay in full." A recent survey says that Americans are 2.3 trillion dollars in credit card debt, so don't assume that you are the only one trying to reduce credit card debt this year. And while a few million of Americans are dealing with layoffs at their place of work or are currently collecting unemployment checks, many patrons are barely able to stay afloat and fork over the minimum amount due. There seems to be a large majority of people becoming increasingly worried about their overwhelming credit balances.
At the same time, there are a few things you can do to decrease your credit card balance. Some of these guidelines are common knowledge and some are items you may have never thought about as a consumer. Keep these tips in mind once you start planning on ways to reduce credit card debt.
- Don't pay the minimum balance due only. Many users with a huge amount of credit card debt try to plan how much they will be able to pay each month by paying the minimum due on each account. Not a good idea! If you are continually only shelling out the minimum due on each credit card, you'll never get out of debt. The easiest way to get out of this bad situation is by paying the amount in full, or a considerable amount on a large balance, each month. You'll pay a smaller amount in interest if you pay more in the principle. Once you take up this routine, you will certainly start to see a shift each month in the amount you are billed.
- Don't attach more to your debt by incessantly spending money on things you don't have enough money for. This may sound easy enough, but many shoppers think that because they are making substantial payments on their credit card remainder, they should be in the clear to buy more items with the same account without it affecting their total owed. Do whatever it takes to only use credit cards for special occasions or emergencies only. One idea is to only use the cash in your wallet to pay for weekly expenses and once you're out of money, you'll have to stop spending that week.
- Locate a credit card that offers a low interest rate. It's pretty amazing how much cash you can accumulate when you switch your credit card remainder from a high interest rate to a lower interest rate credit card. Even a card with a five or seven percent lower interest rate will make a huge modification on your monthly statements. And it's an even smarter idea to take the money you save by switching to a lower interest card and putting it toward the balance of your debt.
- Stay away from impulse purchases. Steer clear of trips to the local shopping mall, or spending frivolously on dinners and entertainment when you are in major credit card debt. Pay cash for groceries or essential monthly expenses so you don't feel obligated to buy things on impulse because you think you have a never-ending credit line with a store credit card. Although these buys on a whim may seem pretty meaningless, they add up without you even detecting it.