When you know that you need to reduce your credit card debt, it is important to understand that you will need a plan. Planning to reduce your credit card debt will enable you to track your progress and ensure that you are going to achieve the goals that you have set. Don’t be afraid to sit down and assess your situation to ensure that you are able to make a comprehensive plan that will help you get out of your credit card debt as soon as possible.
Lower Those Interest Rates
First, you should be sure that you know where you stand. There are a lot of people that do not have an accurate idea of how much money they really owe to their creditors. You should be sure that you take the time that you need to look through all of your debt and figure out exactly how much you owe and to whom you owe money.
Once you have figured out how much money you owe you will then want to figure out the interest rate for each line of credit. Paying off credit with a high interest rate first will ensure that you are not wasting money throughout the time that you are working on paying off your debt. Make sure that you have your interest rates correct when you are figuring out which line of credit you will want to start working on first.
When you know how much your interest rates are, you will then want to see if you can get them lowered. There are a lot of people that do not realize that by simply calling their creditor they can get their interest rate lowered and save hundreds of dollars as they are working on paying off their debt. Call each of your credit card companies and make sure that you ask politely to see if there is any way that you can get a lower interest rate.
Consolidate Those Debts
Once you’ve negotiated your interest rates as low as you can with your credit card company you should look into whether you could get lower rates with a debt consolidation loan. Getting a debt consolidation loan will often allow you to pay off all of your higher interest credit card debts with a more manageable lower interest loan. It will also allow you to focus on paying off one loan as opposed to making payments to several different companies each month.
After you know exactly what you owe and who you owe it to, you will then want to track the costs that you incur throughout the month. There are a lot of people that do not realize how much money they are spending on things that they do not need. You should take the time that you need to look through the different costs that you incur and then figure out which costs you can systematically get rid of. When you know which costs you can get rid of, you can put that money toward the debt that you are working on paying off.
Figure Out a Budget
As you get your finances under control, you will also want to create a reasonable budget for yourself. A reasonable budget will provide you with the money that you need to pay all of your necessary bills and ensure that you are not spending too much money. Don’t be afraid to reach a little outside of your comfort zone with your budget. You may need to cut some of your luxury expenses, but getting your finances under control will be well worth the cuts.
When you have your finances under control, you can then start making payments on your credit cards. The most effective way to eliminate debt is to put all of your extra cash toward the credit card with the highest interest rate. You want to make sure that you put as much money as you can towards paying down your debt. While you are doing this you will also want to make the minimum payments on any other credit card.
As you pay off a credit card you can then move the cash that you were using for that card and put it into another card. Continue paying off all of your cards to ensure that you do not owe any money to a credit card company when you are done.
Once you get yourself out of debt, it is important that you then stay out of debt. Working to stay out of debt can be frustrating when you are used to poor spending habits, but if you can recognize those habits and do all that you can to change them, you will be able to keep your debt to a minimum. One additional tool that you can use to help you stay out of debt is prepaid credit cards, this will allow you to still use the functionality of a credit card for paying bills etc.. but you will be more aware of how much you’re spending. When you keep your debt to a minimum, you can use your money as you wish rather than having your minimum payments dictate where you can spend your money.