If your monthly credit card payments are becoming too high and you struggle to afford paying them each month, barely making the minimum payment, there is hope. Here are some of the best ways to lower your credit card payment. You may even be able to reduce your monthly minimum payment in some cases. These methods can help reduce the strain of high balances and increasing interest and give you a bit of a financial breather if done properly. Of course the best method is to pay as much towards the balances each month as possible but in dire circumstances you'll need to try these methods.
Stop Using the Credit Card.
This is the first and easiest step. Every time you make a purchase on your credit card you increase your balance. And if you aren’t paying off the balance in full each and every month you are adding credit card interest to your balance over and over. New purchases add to the balance and thus increase your interest charges. Because of this the average monthly credit card payment (the minimum payment in many cases) will continue to increase rather than decrease. Don’t forget to turn off any recurring billings on your card such as cell phone bills, utilities, monthly subscriptions, and any other recurring bill that may be linked to your card.
The balance just seems to grow and grow so you should stop using your card for purchases. Unless you have a low or zero percent interest balance transfer credit card, new purchases get no grace period and interest is charged on every purchase when you make the purchase unless the balance is paid off in full.
Now stopping your credit card use won’t instantly fix the problem. It will keep your balance from increasing, save you some interest, and ensure the minimum monthly payment does not keep jumping upwards.
Contact the Credit Card Company.
Even after stopping new charges on your credit card your monthly minimum payment might still be too high. Each company uses a slightly different formula for calculating and applying the minimum payment requirement but many offer a way for you to get a break on your minimum monthly payments. But be well aware that these breaks don’t stop the interest from accruing, so even if your credit card issuer suspends monthly payments for a period of time or reduces the minimum required, you’ll still be responsible for additional interest and sometimes fees.Credit: Andreas Ruedea 2009
Basically tell the company you can no longer afford the minimum monthly payments. If you have a payment protection plan they may grant you a few months to a year without payments. Otherwise they may negotiate a lower monthly payment or offer a new credit card to put the balance onto. Once again remember that if the credit card issuer suspends your monthly minimum credit card payments that you are still responsible for the interest accruing and the remaining balance.
It is a wise idea to keep paying at least something on the credit card balance even if you are granted a suspension of monthly required minimum payments. Remember to keep paying until you are notified that the credit card issuer has suspended payments or else you risk damaging your credit score and triggering late fees, increased interest, and higher payments.
Find a Good Balance Transfer Offer.
If your card issuer won’t negotiate and you can’t make the minimum monthly payments you’ll need to try your best to make them each month until you can find a credit card offer with a good low interest or zero percent interest balance transfer offer.
A credit card balance transfer offer is usually offered to new customers. It allows you to transfer a high interest balance off of one credit card to another at a lower or no interest rate for anywhere from 3 months to 24 months depending on the issuer’s offer. You’ll pay a small fee, usually 3-5% of the balance transferred, upfront for the transfer. But if you pay down the transferred balance in full by the time the promotional period ends you won’t pay any more than the low interest (or no interest) from the promotional period.
But be warned. If you fail to pay off the transferred balance when the promotional interest rate ends, you’ll be responsible for the regular interest on the balance going all the way back to the day the balance was transferred.
Balance transfers can save money and take the pressure off making high minimum monthly payments while being stuck with ever mounting interest balances. You’ll still need to make minimum payments each month on the balance transfer so be sure to read the terms and conditions very well before proceeding. Know that most of these offers require you to have good to excellent credit.
For more methods of reducing credit card minimum monthly payments and also ways to consolidate credit card debt read Debt Management Consolidation Credit Card Solutions for more tips and ideas.