We all want financial stability in our life and it’s an important one. A good way to get financial stability is to dig your way out of credit card debt. Currently credit card interest is high and you could be paying over 20% a year on your debt. If you are only paying the minimal payment it most likely will take over 30 years to pay it off. That is if you are not continuing to use your credit card.
There are multiple approaches you can take to pay off the debt whether you owe $5,000 or $50,000. Here are five tips to get you out of debt.
1. Know the amount you owe
Before you can start paying off the debt you need to take inventory into how much you owe at this point in time. This step is important because you most likely owe more than you think. You might be thinking you have $5,000 but in reality you have $9,000. So pull out your most recent statements and determine how much you owe.
2. Know your score
We all have a score! Remember, when you were in high school you got your GPA well now it is your FICO score. There are three main credit reporting agencies that collect your data that lender’s use with other information to determine whether to extend credit. Check out creditkarma.com where you can find your score and view your credit report for free!! The higher the score the better which means better credit opportunities. Once you know your score reach out to your credit card companies and try to negotiate a lower interest rate. Even one or two percentage points can make a big difference saving possible hundreds of dollars.
3. Determine your payoff method
There are two common credit card payoff methods. The first is to out all your extra cash into the highest-interest card while paying the minimums on the others -- which is the fastest way, overall, to lower your debt. Once the first card is paid off, you have even more extra cash, and should apply it to the card with the next-highest rate, and so on, creating a debt payoff snowball effect. A second strategy is to pay off your card with the lowest balance first while continuing to pay the minimums on the others. Though this is not the most cost-effective way to banish your debt, it's the fastest way to eliminate debt on a single card, and it can be a psychological boost to eliminate a bill for good.
4. Freeze the cards
Read fully on this one!! If you have multiple credit cards and paying off your debt you don’t want to be tempted in still using them. Keep on credit card that has remaining credit available for emergency use only. This would be a hospital visit and not the “I want to get my nails” done emergency. The other cards the best things to do are cut them up and throw them away. But another option is to fill a container with water, put the credit cards in, and then freeze. This way if you are tempted to use the credit cards you will have to wait till it thaws which will be time for you to possibly change your mind.
5. Know you progress
While you don't want to spend every day focusing and stressing over your bills, keep an eye on your spending. Go back every few months to check your progress. Remember the debt didn’t happen overnight. So it took you awhile to get into debt, and it's going to take you awhile to get out of it.