6 Steps to Finding Credit Card Relief
In desperate need of relief from your overwhelming credit card debt? Truth is you’re not alone. In fact, 46% of adults who have a credit card carry a balance. In recent years, the combined debt of cardholders reached over $1 trillion. Luckily, the debt you are tackling is much more manageable.
However, things can feel as though they’ve spiraled out of control when your credit cards are at their maximum and you find yourself paying more and more towards interest and less towards the balance on the cards. At this moment, you may think you can never get ahead, but all you really need is a solid game plan.
Relief can come in various forms and not all will require you to seek outside help.
A few things you can try on your own include:
- Developing a Monthly Budget: Tracking when it comes in and goes out can give you insight into the difference between your income and expenses. You will be able to identify places where you can save and also know how much you can reasonably carve out for debt repayment.
- Setting Goals: “Getting out a debt” can feel like a lofty and uninformative goal. Instead, create smaller goals that can guide to total debt repayment. For example, “pay $50 more than the minimum payment every month” or “forego cable expense until debt is repaid and reapply to credit cards.”
- Spending frugally: Buy in bulk, if possible, and use coupons. You may also start researching alternative grocery stores or services such as insurance or phone provider for better deals.
- Staying focused: Building a debt repayment chart may be the ticket. List your creditors, the amount due, the date due, current balances, and update the new balance anytime you make a payment. You can decide to order your debts by smallest balance or highest interest.
- Challenging yourself: It may sound silly, but making a challenge of paying down your debt can make the experience a bit more enjoyable and rewarding. Consider challenging yourself on how much extra money you can put toward your effort or on how fast you can repayment each creditor.
- Educating yourself on savings, investing and setting yourself up for your financial future: Not only will you be rewarded by paying off your debt but you will have a good grasp on how to make your money work for you. There are now a plethora of free online resources as well as books and blogs that cover this in detail.
Credit cards are a big factor in overall household debt but there are other debts such as medical, financial aid, etc. that need to be added to your plan of action. The obvious goal is to repay the most debt in a quick, yet reasonable manner. Often times we set ourselves with unreasonable expectations and goals and find we can’t meet them. So, be realistic and remember to celebrate even the littlest of victories.
For additional counsel and motivation, visit our Learning Center for some excellent free webinars that help address every side of debt-related issues.
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