With the New Year comes change, and like many people, perhaps you want to change your financial outlook by getting rid of credit card debt. Did you know that if you owe $5,000 in credit card debt and you make just the minimum monthly payment each month with an average interest rate that it can take just over twenty years to pay your balance off? Most people don’t realize it, but when they make a payment on their credit card balance, they are usually paying most of the payment towards interest, and just a small fraction towards the actual principal owed. This means that some people will be paying for this year’s holiday gifts for years into the future, perhaps not totally paying off Junior’s video game system until he is a father himself! Escaping from the credit card debt is possible, however. It just requires determination, will power, and the ability to curtail your impulse to spend.
Why Target Credit Card Debt?
You may be wondering why financial planners suggest that you pay off your credit card debt above all other debts when possible. This is because credit card debt is one of the most expensive types of debt to incur, and there are so many technicalities that are involved with credit card agreements that can cause your interest rate to rise to more than 20%. This usually happens when you are late with a payment by even a few days or if you go over the limit, but some credit cards have interest rates that are that high for everyone from day one. Paying this debt off sooner is, therefore, a wise financial move.
Get a Picture of Your Credit Card Debt
Before you get started on the road to financial freedom by paying yourself out of credit card debt, you need to assess your debt. Find out how much your really owe. List your credit card debts and the amount of interest that you are paying on each. List them in order from the highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate. Your goal is to get a picture of your credit card debt situation.
Budgeting, Cutting Spending, and Saving
Determine your monthly expenses, and make a budget. Once you see how much money you have left each month to pay towards your credit card debt. You will also need to curb your spending in order to free up more money to pay towards your debt. Reducing your regular monthly bills will help, too. When possible, look for ways that you can lower your phone bill, electricity or other energy bills, auto insurance premiums and more. One great way to save money each month is by avoiding eating out, or by dining out only on special occasions or as a once-a-month treat. Pocket the savings each time that you cut a bill or avoid an expense, and put that money towards your credit card debt
Pay Debt Down
Starting with the most expensive credit card in your wallet, apply the money that you have saved towards your outstanding credit card debt. Once each card is paid off, determine whether to close the account or keep it active. Credit experts recommend keeping your oldest two credit cards open to build a good credit score (which, by the way, also makes getting loans cheaper since those with great credit pay less interest).
Paying down your credit card debt takes time, but with diligence and perseverance, you can get out of debt faster than you ever dreamed!
Alyssa Davis, is a design specialist and writer at Metal-Wall-Art.com, and she offers many suggestions and unique ideas for designing with coastal metal wall art and bathroom metal wall hangings.