The sad truth is many of us get a credit card just to build our credit history, but what we fail to recognize is there are ways to establish a good credit history without having a credit card.
Regardless of why you got the card or cards, you're now stressing over the credit card debt you've accumulated, because at this point you're thinking you're never going to be able to eliminate your credit card debt.
It's alright, my friend. Just take a deep breath and relax, because I'm here to assure you that eliminating credit card debt is achievable. Yes, it will take time, but if you follow my advice, your persistence will result in freedom from the credit card debt.
Eliminating Credit Card Debt Without Consolidating
Try to work it into your monthly household budget to pay more than the minimum amount due. When you choose to pay more than the minimum monthly amount, you'll pay your card off sooner, and the most important reason to do this is you'll pay less in interest rates. To give you an example, according to Bankrate's credit card payoff calculator, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 balance, an interest rate of 20% and a minimum monthly payment of $25.00, it will take you 67 months to pay off the card if you only pay the minimum of $25.00. Furthermore, once the card is paid off in that amount of time, you will have paid a total of $661.00 in interest. However, if you pay $50.00 a month instead of the minimum, you'll pay the card off in 25 months and only pay $226.00 in interest, a savings of $435.00.
Begin by paying off the credit cards with the lowest balance first. Many may disagree and argue that paying off credit cards with the highest interest rate first is the way to go, but in my own personal experience, paying off the cards with the lowest balance worked best for my husband and me. What this did was get those debts out of the way, and then we were able to budget in a higher monthly payment to pay off the cards with a higher interest rate much quicker.
Pay off the entire credit card balance or a big portion of it with your tax return money. Again, choose to pay off the cards with the lowest balances first. This way you're paying off more than just one card, which again, leaves you more money to work with to tackle the cards with higher interest rates.
Transfer your credit card debts to a card with lower rates. Some credit card companies offer promotions of no interest charges to new customers who transfer their credit card debt.
Eliminating Credit Card Debt Totaling $10,000 or More
Sometimes -- especially if you have credit card debt of $10,000 or more -- you may need help paying off the debt. Maybe you're having some financial hardships that is making it tough for you to work your credit card payments into your monthly budget and/or your behind on payments. In a lot of these cases, people find it's easier to combine their debt and just make one monthly payment.
If you think combining your debt and making one monthly payment is the best option for you right now, National Debt Relief may be able to help you. If your credit card debt is less than $10,000 or you live in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Oregon, Vermont or West Virginia, unfortunately, National Debt Relief won't be able to help you.
If you have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, you live in a state that I didn't mention above and you're serious about getting help, you can call National Debt Relief at this number to see if they can help you: 866-258-9371. Maybe you want to learn more about them and what they can do before you call. No problem, just head over to the National Debt Relief website.
Before committing to anything with National Debt Relief, I urge you to read all the fine print in anything they send you and ask questions about anything you don't understand or want to know more about to ensure you're making the best decision. A few questions you should ask if you're approved for help are as follows (feel free to write them down): What is the total amount I'll be paying off, including your fee for helping me? What are your interest rates? How long will it take me to pay the debt off doing it this way?
What to Do After Eliminating Your Credit Card Debt
Once you've paid off your credit card debt, my best advice to you would be to cancel and shred ALL your credit cards. You'll do much better by putting money into a savings account for emergencies and building your credit through other means rather than having a credit card on hand.