Solving Your Credit Card Debt Problem
Many people struggle with large credit card debt balances and are searching for a way out of their difficult financial situation. Though the circumstances that led the individual to a high debt burden vary from person to person, the common thread among all of them is a strong desire to become debt-free.
The two best approaches to paying off credit card debt are to either accomplish it independently, or, if lacking the full ability to do so, to utilize a consumer credit counselor service.
Solving Your Debt Problem Requires Effort
Paying back significant financial obligations may involve securing a second (part-time) job to generate the extra funds necessary to increase payments on higher-interest rate credit cards. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but if you’re serious about getting out of debt, you’ll have to get serious about it.
Regardless of whether you work a second job, you’ll need to get organized from the outset. List your consumer credit card accounts by balance, interest rate, typical minimum monthly payment amount and payment date.
Notice which account charges the highest interest rate and focus on paying this account off first. Furthermore, call all of your credit card companies and ask them to lower their interest rates.
Particularly with those accounts in which you have demonstrated a strong payment history or those that you have been with for many years, you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. The mere act of asking can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Apart from the account you have chosen to reduce more aggressively, continue to make minimum payments on all of your other accounts. Get creative and implement methods to reduce expenses while earning extra money.
It goes without saying that this really isn’t the time to consider purchasing a new set of golf clubs.
Aside from possibly working a second job, consider the following credit card debt solutions:
- Selling extra items that you don’t really use through eBay, OfferUp, LetGo, Craigslist, social media (Facebook) and other avenues.
- Remain strict about managing your cash flow and pay down the credit cards with the highest interest rate. Once your initial target account is paid off, repeat the process with the next highest interest rate card. Over time, your credit card debt will shrink.
Ideally, you will have visibility on clearing yourself of your credit card debt burden within five years or less. However, if you think this might prove unlikely, you should consider contacting a consumer credit counseling company that can work with your credit card companies to lower your interest rates while allowing you to make one consolidated payment each month.
Get Credit Counseling If You Need It
Credit counseling services help reduce debt levels by bundling balances together and negotiating lower interest rates with individual creditors. Instead of sending out dozens of small payments each month, you’ll be responsible for a single larger payment to your credit counselor.
These payments often include a monthly fee of $50 or less. A qualified credit counseling service can help you restructure your debt without significantly harming your credit score.
Adhering to a debt management plan can lead you out of credit card debt on your own, without negotiations or settlements. Working with a third-party credit counseling service carries other benefits, as creditors will no longer contact you directly regarding your debts since your counselor can act as power of attorney over your debt.
Enrolling with a counseling service also demonstrates to creditors that you are proactively working on paying down your debt, and creditors will often soften their stance when they see evidence that you are working hard to pay off outstanding balances.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Regardless of which road you take – either paying your credit card debt off independently or through the aid of a credit counselor – it is important to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. Each day, each dollar of debt that you pay off is bringing you one step closer toward the debt-free lifestyle and peace of mind that you seek.
Remind yourself that you’re only human, that we all make mistakes, and that you are headed in the right direction as you travel on your personal journey toward financial recovery and freedom.
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