Credit card debt is a drag. If you’re not paying your monthly credit card bill in full each month, you may wind up spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in interest charges.
Consider this example: Say you owe $4,717 on a credit card with a 15% interest rate, and the minimum monthly payment is $189. If you make only the minimum monthly payment, it will take 10-years to pay off the debt! Your total repayment for that $4,717 credit card debt would amount to an astonishing $22,896.
If you are in a position to pay down your credit card debt, start now. If you are only able to make the minimum monthly payments or no payments at all, we encourage you to explore how filing for bankruptcy can get you out of debt.
Tips for Paying Down Credit Card Debt
The first thing you need to do is to make a list of your credit card debts and the accompanying interest rates. Then, follow these tips to pay down your credit card debt:
Pay down the card with the highest interest rate first. The card with the highest interest rate is costing you the most in interest charges month after month. Focus on paying down your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. As you pay down your debts, be mindful not to make new charges unless it is for a genuine emergency or true necessity.
Rein in your spending. To pay down your credit card debt, you’re going to have to free up some funds. This means cutting expenses. This also means not making new charges to your credit cards. Sure it is more fun to get dinner with your friends than put an extra $25 toward your credit card debt, but inching your way out of credit card debt can be one of the best gifts you ever give yourself.
To get out of debt, you’ll have to deal with the nitty-gritty. It’s time to create a budget and stick to it. On that note…
Make paying down your credit cards a priority. It’s a simple truth: the things we prioritize get done. You don’t want to pay $22,896 over 10-years to pay back $4,717 worth of debt. Make getting yourself out of credit card debt a priority.
Pay with cash. The idea of paying for groceries or gas with cash may seem foreign to you. Most of us have been swiping our debit or credit cards for our everyday purchases for years. First, paying with cash means you won’t be swiping your credit cards and adding to your debt load. Second, paying with cash means you won’t spend more than you have. Finally, paying with cash will help you spend less overall because of the psychological pain of handing over your hard-earned money.
Use the cash you’re not spending to pay down your credit card debt. Even after you’re out of debt, consider continuing to pay with cash so you can avoid racking up credit card debt again and so you can save more for emergencies, retirement, and for fun! You can make that long-dreamed-of trip to hike Machu Picchu a reality!
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When You Can’t Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt
If you are struggling to make ends meet, and you simply do not have enough income to reasonably pay down your credit card debt, then bankruptcy might be the debt relief solution for you.
Find out more about being debt free in our guide: All About Debt Relief
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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.