While it can be argued that there are “good” debts to have and “bad” debts, credit card debt most definitely belongs in the “bad” category. It looms over your head, spirals out of control before you know it, and can seem virtually impossible to get out of. So, what do you do if you find yourself in credit card debt and you’re tired of the cycle? How do you break out of it?
We’ve put together some tips you can use that can help get you out of credit card debt and clear your mind.
Get the Full Picture
Before you work on getting yourself out of credit card debt, you first need to figure out just how much you owe. There is no way to create a payment plan if you don’t know what the total amount owing is. Make sure you take a look at all credit cards you own and the interest rate on each.
Put Your Cards Away
In order to stop the debt from rising any further, you need to put the cards away and stop using them all together. Go on a cash only budget moving forward. Yes this will be difficult, but unless there is an emergency those cards shouldn’t be used.
Seek the Help of a Financial Advisor
When it comes to credit card debt, the outstanding amount can be pretty daunting, especially if you don’t make a lot of money. It’s a good idea to seek the help of a financial advisor, in particular one that has experience in debt repayment and consolidation issues.
Before you meet with the advisor, you will want to collect all your most recent statements that show your outstanding amount owning and the interest rate. The advisor will need this information in order to create a repayment plan that works for you. It would also be wise to bring a recent pay stub so they can take a look at your income. They will also ask you about any other debt you may have.
Set Your Sights on One at a Time
If you have decided to go about it on your own, without the help of a financial advisor, then it is recommended you set your sights on one card at a time. Rather than clear the debt on all of them, just focus on one card to begin with. You will still need to pay the minimum amounts on the others in the meantime though.
As for which card to start with, experts recommend you choose the one with the highest interest rate, since it is costing you the most.
Make Extra Payments in a Month
Another tip is to make extra payments in the month. If you only pay the minimum you will never chip away at the outstanding balance. By making an extra payment, even if it’s small, that will go directly towards the principal amount.
Stay Positive and Determined
There is no doubt about it, paying off credit card debt is a long and difficult road, but it’s important to stay positive and determined throughout with your focus on the end goal – being debt free!