The best way to use credit cards is to pay off the entire balance each month when or before the balance is due. The most clever credit card users employ this method of payment, in tandem with reaping the benefits of credit card point or pay-back systems. However, the majority of credit card users tend to carry a balance, and some even barely make minimum payments each month.
A good number of credit card users carry a balance for years, making payments but also making new purchases and incurring interest. Did you know if you pay only the minimum payment of your card each month, even without making new purchases, it could take you up to 25 years to pay off the balance? The big question is: how to get out of the credit card debt pit and pay off credit cards quickly? This article will look at a few different scenarios card users might use to accomplish this goal.
*Stop using credit cards like money you have in your pocket. When trying to pay off debt, credit cards should only be used for emergencies. To accomplish this, adjust your budget to spend as little money as possible. Stop buying new belongings. Stop buying unnecessary fast food, coffee, or entertainment items. Cook meals at home, and take bagged lunches to work or school. Stop paying to go out for entertainment, or spending a lot of money on entertaining at home. Return to simple (cheap) pleasures like playing cards, board games, or simply talking with friends and family. Cancel unnecessary cable channels. Decide if you need both home phones AND cell phones. You get the idea.
*Identify the cards charging the highest interest and pay them off first. If you have a lower interest card with credit space, try to shift balances from higher interest (such as store credit cards) to lower interest cards. It’s easier to focus on paying off one large bill, than several smaller ones. Check to make sure any fees you may pay for shifting balances doesn’t out weigh interest saved. Cancel higher interest cards once they are paid off.
Utilize other assets:
*Credit card interest is usually much higher than interest being earned on money saved in savings accounts. Instead of sitting on a savings while carrying a heavy debt load, use savings to pay off credit debt. The loss of saving security might be unnerving, but why make two percent interest on money saved while paying 19 percent interest on money owed?
*Sell off unused or unnecessary belongings and use proceeds to pay off cards. For bigger items use local free or online sale pages. If you have a lot of smaller items, why not have a garage sale? Every little bit helps!
*Again mortgage interest rates are usually much less than credit card interest rates. When renewing your mortgage, roll in outstanding credit card debts. Remember to lower credit limits after your cards are empty, or to cancel cards completely to keep yourself from getting into credit card debt again.
Take advantage other loan options:
*Borrow money from family members to pay off cards, and pay them back with reasonable interest. For example, if your parents have money saved making two percent bank interest, borrow money and pay them back in set monthly payments at four percent interest. That way, you’ll save money, and they’ll make money, as an added bonus you won’t feel as if you are taking advantage of them!
*Take out a personal loan or consolidation loan to pay off credit card debts. Make sure the interest you pay on the loan is lower than the credit card interest rates.
Make more money:
*It is fairly common nowadays for people to have more than one job. Why not find a temporary second job where the entire paycheck goes towards paying off your credit card debt? As an added bonus, you will be so busy working, you will have less time to run up more debt! Worried about daycare needed for the added work time? Talk to friends and family members and see if they’ll help you out, or find a second job you can work at home!
*If your work allows it, work overtime for pay.
Once you pay off your credit card debt, be sure to remember how hard it was to do so, and try to avoid getting into the same predicament again. Many people carry credit card debt because times are hard and making ends meet can be rough. While an attractive, and sometimes necessary bandage solution, credit cards usually cause more financial hardship in the long run. Proper credit card use involves only spending money you know you can pay off in a short period of time. Make any sacrifices needed to pay off cards as quickly as possible! Never spend more than you can afford! Use money you have in your bank account as much as possible. Using your own money to buy things doesn’t cost you money.
Need an added push? Every time you make a purchase, ask yourself if you would pay double for it? If not, don’t buy it on credit!