If you have taken the time and sat down with your bills, then you should pat yourself on the back, it is good to be in control of your finances, but now that you have got to this part, and you are going through your balances and interest rates, maybe you have thought to consolidate credit cards to be one bill to make life easier. This of course, will depend on just how big your balances are, but this can be done if you take the time now.

Consolidate Credit Cards - This can work, but you first have to identify what caused all the cards to build up in the first place. This can be hard as it means taking a look at your spending habits. If most of the purchases spread across these credit cards were just bad luck and life issues, and NOT from consoling yourself at the mall, then you can consolidate credit cards, and get back on track fast.

But if you are a shopper, and most of the balances are from purchases, then you are going to have to decide whether consolidating your credit cards will work for you, or will you just look at the now empty cards as more spending power?

If that is the case, then you are going to have to be proactive. If you really want to get rid of credit card debt by consolidation, you will have to instantly cut up and get rid of that account that is paid off. This way you are not in danger of building up new debt. You will have to find a different outlet for your need to shop if you are serious about getting rid of credit card debt. Otherwise consolidating credit cards won't work well for you, as you will rack up new debt.

Consolidate Credit Cards - The best way to do this, is to pick the lowest interest credit card, and get as big a limit as you can, you will need to get rid of the other balances. Phone up the card company and tell them your plans. Have it all written down, just how much is on what card and the card companies information and the number.

Explain that you are not looking for a higher limit because of more spending needs, but that you want to get rid of higher interest cards and their balances. Otherwise they may not approve a higher limit as you already have other cards. But once you explain that you are paying off the other cards and getting rid of them (except for one emergency one) they will be happier. They may even help you cancel the other ones, so there is no danger of racking them up again, this is consolidating credit cards.

They will usually do this for you. Once they have paid off the other cards, then you should phone up the credit card company and cancel this card. If you newly consolidated low interest card is now nearly maxed, then you should keep one of the empty ones for EMERGENCY PURCHASES ONLY. This way you have something if your car breaks or whatever life throws at you. This is not for the mall.

If you do not trust yourself with this card, or you find yourself making purchases with it, then leave this one at home. If you have to get all the way home to get it, then you will hopefully get put off any purchases. Or knowing you can only spend cash, might curb some of your shopping. Using cash seems more "real" and makes you think a bit about purchases.

Consolidate Credit Cards - If this is a lower interest or zero interest card, then make as big a payment as you can afford each month. Pay attention to the due dates, and make sure you know when their special interest rate deal is over.

Example: If it was zero interest for 12 months, then take your calendar and mark two weeks before that date. Can you pay off this balance by then? If there is no physical way that it will be paid off by then, you will now phone your other card company (the one that should still be empty, the emergency only one) and get a good interest rate on it, and then transfer the difference back.

This may seem like a lot of bother, but the interest you save is worth the bother. Credit card companies are hoping you don't have time to bother with these things, that you won't notice that 12 months went by, and that now you are getting charge 17% or higher. So, if you keep on top of this plan, then you can consolidate credit cards and you will come out the winner with very little if any interest.

Consolidate Credit Cards - Another way is to get a loan through the bank, but if they approve it, they will most likely take away your credit cards, you will be put on a payment plan, and that is that.

Personally I find you have more control if you can find the zero percent cards or lower interest cards and do this yourself, it may even be cheaper, as a bank will charge you a higher interest rate for unsecured credit. (meaning they can't attach this debt to anything like collateral)

If you consolidate credit cards, and treat the business of paying off credit card debt as a business, and take the time and write it all down, you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in interest. These cards want your business, make a point of calling them and setting things up. You may need to take a day off work to get at this, as you will need some patience and quiet in the house to get organized, but you will make up for that day off in saved interest.

So, if you get a zero interest rate card deal for 6 months or 12 months or whatever they offer, just make sure and allow up to 2 weeks before the end of the offer, to either be done paying it off and be free of credit card debt, or transfer it back to another low interest card, and avoid the additional interest charges. Also see: Creative Ways to Pay Off Debt - Finding The Money and How to Lower Credit Card Interest Rates - Don't Let Them Bully You and Best Ways to Pay Off Credit Cards without Depriving Yourself and How to Pay off My Debt - Don't work for Free and How to Pay off Bills - Don't Let Them Suck You Dry for more tips and ideas for getting back in control of your money.