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Well, that time of year is finally upon us… today is Black Friday. Although Black Friday is a great time to get holiday deals, there’s no doubt that it’s very easy to go overboard in the mayhem induced by bargain shopping. Many of us will rack up large credit card bills this holiday season. Here are some tips to help chip away at those monster bills.
14 Tips To Help Pay Off Credit Card Debt
1. Make a list of all the credit cards you have. Take a deep breath and record the amounts you owe on each and the interest rates for each.
2. Next record your total monthly income and expenses. An excellent idea is to write down all of your expenses each day, from that stick of gum to your car repairs. Quite often, the simple act of writing down what you spend will help you to spend less.
3. Compare the interest rates of any investments you may have against credit card interest rates. If the investments have a lower interest rate than the credit cards, consider cashing out the investments to help with the credit card debt.
4. Determine how much money you can devote to paying off your credit card debt. Perhaps you can give up your daily latte or vending machine fix. Take the money you would have spent and set it aside each day. Use it to help pay down your credit card debt.
5. If you have several credit card balances to pay down, start with the one with the highest interest rate. If you can pay it all off at once, do so. If you can’t, pay as much as you can afford. Consider doubling or tripling the minimum payment, which can help you pay off the balance much quicker.
6. Once you pay off a credit card, cut it up and throw away the pieces.
7. Continue with the credit card with the next highest interest rate and repeat steps three through five until all the cards are paid off.
8. Those who need immediate gratification may want to consider paying off the credit card with the smallest balance first. They may need the immediate relief of knowing at least one balance is paid. The rest may not seem as daunting.
9. If you need additional help, you may want to transfer as much of your credit card debt to the card with the lowest interest rate or try to get a debt consolidation loan.
10. Contact credit card companies to ask if they can lower your interest rate or accept a lower payment. However, in the current credit market crisis, these may be unlikely options.
11. Consult a consumer credit agency to help with repayment of the debt. Use caution though: While many offer their services for free, others charge fees that can be even worse than the original debt.
12. Only keep one or two credit cards to use in true emergencies. Keep them in a secure place that is readily available when you need it but not so handy that you will whip it out on a whim.
13. Pay cash as much as possible to prevent your credit card debt from rebuilding.
14. If you absolutely must use a credit card, try to pay off the balance each month.
Do not let your credit card bills take over your life. Instead, use these 14 tips to help eliminate your credit card debt, and restore you piece of mind. With persistence and patience, you can have a better financial future.