Is There an End to Credit Card Debt?

Personal Finances

With consumer debt at an all-time high, this is a question that many Americans are grappling with right now. The credit card trap can easily make you feel like there’s no way out, but this is far from the truth. Yes, you can break free! With the right tools and the willingness to work hard at your goal until it’s achieved, you can dig yourself out of the credit card hole and live debt-free. Here’s how:

Assess your debt

First, review all your open credit card accounts. For each one, jot down the total owed, as well as the interest rate. Tally up the total so you have a number to work with, but hold onto your list for later reference.

Negotiate with the credit card companies

Next, reach out to the credit card companies behind your debts to ask about lowering your interest rate or even negotiating to have some of your balance knocked off. Be open about your commitment to pay off your debt and any financial challenges you may be facing.

Choose your debt-kicking method

There are two primary methods:

  • The avalanche method. Here, you’ll focus on paying down your debts in order of interest rates, starting with the highest interest-rate debt.
  • The snowball method. Using this method, you’ll pay off your debts in order from the smallest amount to the largest.
    The avalanche method will be less expensive overall, but won’t bring tangible results for a while. On the flip side, the snowball method brings quick results, but may cost more in the long run.

Review each method and choose the one that suits your lifestyle. Then, reference the list you made in Step 1. Write down your debts in the payoff order you’ll follow.

Maximize your payments

Next, start maximizing your monthly payments toward the first debt on your list. To do this, review your budget and look for ways to cut back. Don’t be afraid to make drastic lifestyle changes as you work on paying it down. Remember, this is temporary!

Another way to find extra funds for your debts is to boost your income by asking for a raise, looking for a better-paying job or a side hustle.

As you focus on the first debt on your list, be careful not to neglect the minimum payments on your other debts.

Consider debt consolidation

If you have a lot of debt across high-interest cards, consider debt consolidation through an unsecured loan. You’ll use the loan to pay off all your credit card debt, and then you’ll have just one monthly payment to make toward the loan. You’ll likely enjoy a lower interest rate as well. But, only go this route if you know the loan won’t land you deeper into debt.

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