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How to Manage Your Credit Card Debt

Getting deep in credit-card debt can feel like you’re drowning. You dread going to the mailbox or answering the phone because every message or note could be from a collections company or another bill collector you aren’t able to pay. If you’ve gotten over your head with credit cards, we want to help. So, we’re going to give you a few tips about keeping up with your financial obligations.

Don’t let credit card debt pile up and capsize your financial plans. And don’t despair. Desperation and depression over financial matters cause more problems than they solve.

Managing your credit cards

The absolute worst thing you can do with looming credit card debt is to ignore it. Unfortunately, many people feel so overwhelmed by it that ignoring it becomes their defensive response. The biggest tip we can provide is: “Buck up and confront it!” It won’t get better without your involvement.

Consolidate

Having multiple credit cards means getting various invoices on those cards, having different payment schedules, different interest rates, and separate monthly payments. You must keep track of all of those things, which can sometimes feel like a series of spinning plates, always suspended and always requiring your immediate attention.

Give yourself some peace of mind by consolidating your credit cards either under a single card by way of a consolidation loan. Most credit-card companies charge interest daily, so it’s always accruing against you. The best way to stop the craziness is to get all your balances under one banner, with a single monthly payment.

The best way to accomplish this is probably a consolidation loan, which provides you with a set amount of money to pay the balances on open accounts directly, bringing them to zero. If this isn’t possible, you might be able to pay off some cards with other cards. Either way, consolidating them into as few payments as possible is the goal, so you can manage them better and not get stunned every time a new notification comes in the mail.

Budget and Establish Goals

One terrific way to stay on task and avoid getting dragged through the mire with credit-card payments is to set goals and a budget. If you know what your financial goals are, it’s much easier to aim for them. And you’re more likely to stick to a plan with a defined strategy that allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Take a close look at your finances. Calculate how much income you have and subtract all of your monthly expenditures, including utilities, mortgage or rent, car payments, and all other monthly debt. Look for ways you can reallocate money toward paying down your credit-card debt.

Identify a goal for financial stability. It can be anything from purchasing a new car to taking a vacation or buying a house. Having something to work toward provides you with a lasting reason to apply discipline and continue with the plan you develop.

When you find room in your monthly budget, be sure to allocate first toward your credit cards. Credit card debt often carry a higher interest rate than other debt, which means they’re ultimately more expensive and linger longer. They also report regularly to reporting agencies, so their impact on your credit is substantial.

These days, more companies are offering phone applications and programs that provide quick-and-easy ways to help you budget and watch your finances. Consider these apps as another way to help you keep an eye on the prize.

Pay Down Credit Cards

As we mentioned, credit cards are your most poignant debt source. Their lenders regularly report to agencies, can easily send your debt to collections, and their interest rates are usually higher than other types of loans. Credit cards may not carry the most substantial balances, but they have significant repercussions to your credit rating.

Multiple credit card debt generally is also the most significant source of stress because they are so consistent, particularly when you have different repayment schedules and interest for each one.

Here are two different methods to consider for paying down your credit card debt:

1. Highest Interest Rate First

Arrange your payments so that you pay the card with the highest interest rate first. It isn’t always the card with the most substantial balance, but by clearing this off of your debts, you free that larger monthly payment to apply to the card with the next highest interest rate.

2. Highest Balance First

Assemble your cards with the highest balances on top. Similar to the first method, pay the down the card with the highest balance first, which will free that monthly payment for the next highest balance, and so forth. Psychologically speaking, you’ll get a welcomed charge from getting that first one paid off, which should help you be patient when working on the others.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s okay to pay the minimum monthly amount on the other cards while working on your primary card. Be careful not to use those other cards as much while paying them down, however, or you risk being counterproductive. Remember, this is about building proper fiscal discipline and showing responsibility as much as it is about clearing off your debt.

Conclusion

Freeing yourself from the burden of credit-card debt will take patience and discipline. It’s not going to be an easy task. But it becomes more comfortable with precise planning, a little assistance from online apps, and a clear goal in mind.

Be patient while working on your credit card debt. It will take time to recover your credit and make it more manageable, but it’s worth it. Try to limit using your credit card, even when things are going according to plan, and seem to be on the mend. A point comes when you can see things looking up, but don’t let that optimism turn perilous to your ongoing discipline.

Keep your fiscal goal firmly in mind. It’s the beacon you’re aiming for, and it will guide you if you let it.

Writer

Vivaan Marsh is a professional writer, editor and an expert in personal finance. Her career as a professional writer stretch for over 11 years. One of her passions in life is to help everyday families with there financial problems, making their life a bit easier and explaining complicated topics in an easy way. Read more >

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