Credit card debt is something that can sneak up on you and then never go away. You can suddenly find yourself carrying one or more balances and only making minimum payments for months or even years. The interest that accumulates as this goes on is enough to make anyone financially frustrated. But, there are some ways out. If you are serious about paying off your credit card debt once and for all and keeping it that way, here are five methods that can help.
1. Transfer Balances to a No-Interest Account
Credit card companies want your business, especially if you make regular monthly payments and have good credit. To get new customers, credit card companies will offer no interest on balance transfers for a specified amount of time. This gives you the opportunity to pay off debt sooner since interest is no longer accumulating. Just make sure pay to pay off the balance before the no-interest period ends.
2. Stop Using Credit Except for Emergencies
If you pay off all or part of your credit card debt only to max it out again, you’ll forever be in credit card debt. Use your credit card only for emergencies, and you’ll likely always have plenty of wiggle room to take care of the unexpected.
3. Pay off High-Interest Cards First
High-interest credit cards need to be the first to go since these will cost you the most in interest over time. If you can’t transfer these balances to a no-interest credit card, your best bet is to consolidate them into an account with a much lower interest rate.
4. Get Credit Counseling
If credit card debt has you spinning out of financial control, you should consider getting credit counseling. Credit counselors will educate you about debt and debt relief, as well as help you set a realistic budget that will get you out of debt for good. Here is a good list of the best debt relief services, including Accredited Debt Relief. You can also use one of the many credit repair companies to help improve your credit.
5. Keep Credit Lines at a Reasonable Amount
If you choose to keep credit lines open before or after paying down your debt, it’s best to have realistic credit limits. Credit card companies will sometimes increase your credit line without your permission. If this happens, simply give them a call and ask them to decrease your limit. The less credit you have, the less you can spend. Just keep in mind that if you keep your credit limits low, it can keep your credit score low.