Paying off Your Credit Cards
By Nikki Willhite
Credit Cards can be a great convenience if not misused. Americans
have a love of plastic. I get into a lot of trouble when I say
that I like credit cards. Used wisely, they can make life easier
and even be money-makers, with rewards like cash back or air
You have to have a great deal of self-discipline to use your
credit cards wisely. There are just too many appealing things to
buy, and too many ways that we are enticed to buy them.
There are no "stop signs" or warning about what can happen if you
misuse your credit.
Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, we run up credit card
debt. Unexpected auto repairs, accidents, medical bills, broken
appliances, family emergencies, and many other things can cause
us to have to spend money that use just don't have.
When you acquire a lot of debt, you have a major challenge
getting rid of it. If you are paying more than 6 percent of your
net income to pay your credit card each month, you are in
My heart goes out to those who have gotten in trouble and are
trying so hard to fix their finances. In additional to the above
problems, so people over spend because of emotional problems.
Whatever the reason, we need to be supportive of each other.
There is not a huge support group for living frugally. There are
websites and ezines, and an occasional article in a major
publication, but not much else.
That is a shame, because financial problems can bring so much
misery into our lives. It helps to know you are not alone.
I encourage anyone that is having difficulty with money to
subscribe to as many ezines on thrift and frugality as they can
to help them with their problems.
There are many ways to save money to help pay off debt. Some are
easy, and some are a lot harder. Some may even seem laughable -
but every bit of advice should be measured against your
circumstances to see if it will help.
For those struggling with credit card debt, here is some basic
information that is meant to be useful in approaching how to go
about getting out of debt.
1.The first thing that is essential to realize it that if you
only pay the minimum amount due on your statement each month, you
will never pay off that card. Ignore the number so prominently
placed on the top of your bill.
2.Examine your credit card statement and know exactly what
interest rate you are paying. If your credit score is still high,
you may be able to transfer your balance to a lower interest
credit card. If you are able to transfer the balance to a credit
card that has no interest for a year, remember that you
absolutely must not put anything else on that particular card.
3. If you have a savings account, use as much of it as you can to
pay off your charge card. It makes no sense to save money at an
extremely low interest rate, when you are paying double digit
4. Do not use a Home equity loan to pay off your credit cards.
You will end up charging your cards up again, and then by faced
with even higher bills. Your also put your home at risk.
When you are absolutely positive and have demonstrated the
ability to control your money over a period of many months, then
you can consider doing it.
5. There are two basic ways to go about paying down your cards.
The first one is make minimum payments on every card except the
one that has the highest interest rate. Get rid of that one
first. Then do the same thing with the next card with the
highest interest rate.
The other way is to first pay off the card with the smallest
balance. When that card is paid off, take the money you were
paying for that card and put it on the next lowest balance card
and so forth. One of the advantages of this route, is that it
gives you a greater sense of accomplishment if you have a lot of
Whatever you decide- choose your method and get to work.