Credit cards can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether or not they are utilized judiciously. Although plastic money has facilitated our lives, the reality remains that in the past two decades, more and more Americans have slipped into the black hole of credit card debt. Paying down debt can be quite stressful, let alone difficult. Yet, those struggling to pay off their credit cards each month need not despair, for there is a host of credit card reduction strategies available to them.
Here are a few suggestions to eliminate credit card debt:1. Pay more than the minimum: If paying off the entire balance is not possible, then consider making a payment that exceeds the minimum amount due.2. Call the credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. 3. Transfer balance to a low-interest rate card: Consumers can transfer their balance to a credit card with a more attractive interest rate (ex: one with an introductory rate between 5.9 percent and 6.9 percent), thus making it easier to pay off the principal.4. Obtain credit card debt relief through the Debt Reduction Pyramid: This credit card debt management method consists of knocking off the lowest-balance bills first. Once the card with the lowest balance is paid, concentrate on the second card on the pyramid and then move on to rest of the cards until they are all paid off.5. Size up bills by interest rates: An alternative form of credit card debt settlement involves listing the credit cards with the highest interest rates and then attacking those in descending order, namely the balance with the highest annual percentage rate first. Once that one is paid off, focus on the debt with the next highest interest rate.6. Cash out the investments and savings and use the proceeds toward credit card debt settlement.7. Obtain a loan from family and friends.8. Take out a home equity loan and use the loan proceeds for credit card debt management.9. Borrow from a 401k qualified retirement plan: As compared to other credit card reduction strategies, this option allows debtors to borrow $50,000 or up to 50% of the 401k account’s value, whichever is smaller.10. Contact a consumer credit counseling service: Amongst the credit card debt reductions strategies that certified consumer credit advisors deploy on behalf of debtors are:
Assessing the financial situation. Creating a spending plan debt consolidation into one convenient monthly deposit. Negotiating terms such as lower interest rate, waived late fees, and a lower repayment schedule with the creditors.
11. Self-help measures: The following simple credit card debt reduction strategies can help consumers save $50 per month:
Packing your own lunch Using coupons for groceries and purchasing store brands. Shopping at discount and consignment stores. Cutting down on outings (i.e. restaurants, movies)Offering handmade cards and gifts. Tracking spending on a regular basis to determine which ‘luxuries’ can be avoided
Any one or a combination of these credit card debt reduction strategies will put the consumer on the right track, under the condition that he or she sticks with the pay-down plan.
With current charge card debt in the U.S. surpassing the $360 billion figure, it is logical and imperative that consumers take all the measures possible to eliminate credit card debt. The credit card debt reduction strategies outlined above will keep bill-swamped consumers from sinking further into debt.