Reducing Credit Card Debt

 


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One of the easiest “things" that can happen in life is the ratcheting up of a large credit card debt. For whatever reason, making purchases with credit cards seems easier than spending cash to obtain a product or service.

Maintaining high levels of credit card debt is not prudent. The interest rates associated with most credit cards is high. In fact, many people have managed to rack their card balances up so high that only the minimum payment is made each month. As a result, these people are taking years if not decades to pay down their credit card balances, all the while wasting an incredible sum of money in interest payments alone.

In this article, a number of strategies to reduce credit card debt are presented. These tips are general in nature but will provide a person with credit card debt a solid plan for reining in credit card balances.

A good overall strategy is to target the highest rates of interest. If you can, transfer the balance to another credit card, where you will achieve a zero or low interest rate for a set period. While this balance is not costing interest you can target other debts that are. Make sure you are prepared for when the offer period runs out and have another balance transfer offer ready to take over. You should look to have your credit card application a few weeks before your current offer period runs out. If you cannot transfer the balance then pay off as much as you can afford, so the balance reduces as quickly as possible.

Credit card companies are very competitive and as such there are some very good 0% balance transfers and purchase offers available. Look to take advantage of these, but make sure you have a plan in place on how to deal with the balance when the offer finishes. Remember that the debt has not gone away.

As mentioned previously in this article, credit card accounts usually have high interest rates. The combination of high interest rates and free spending patterns can result in the rapid escalation of credit card debt.

A debt consolidation loan can be an excellent tool to assist in the reduction of credit card debt. Consolidation loans carry interests rates far below those of credit cards. In the long run, a great deal of money can be conserved through the use of a debt consolidation loan.

While in many segments of society, the word “self restraint" is passé, out of style like last year's fashions. But, in reality, the very best way of reducing credit card debt is through self restraint.

Of course, it is easy to bandy around the words “self restraint" and much, much harder to practice personal control.

Although it might seem comical on the surface, cutting up credit cards is a perfect first step to reducing credit card debt. No cards, no charging, less debt.

Many people leave the payment of their credit card accounts at the bottom of the monthly bill pile. Other primary accounts - rent, electricity, phone, and the like - understandably take a higher priority over credit card bills. But, oftentimes a person will spend money on incidental purchases before taking on credit card balances. In the end, the credit card account may not be paid on at all or, if so, after the deadline.

One way to ensure that credit card payments are made and one way to ensure that credit card debt is kept under some degree of control is via an automatic payment system on credit card accounts. A person's bank can arrange for the credit card account to be paid automatically each and every month.

By ensuring that at least a base payment is made on credit card accounts each and every month, accelerated interest rates and late fee penalties will be avoided.

In this article, three strategies for reducing credit card debt have been presented :- debt consolidation, self restraint, automatic payments.

By following one or all of these strategies, a person will work towards a more solid and satisfactory financial position.

Neil Brown is a freelance writer who makes regular contributions to online insurance and business finance

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