How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt
The tricky thing about credit card debt is that it just keeps adding up. Since credit cards are essentially open-ended loans, it gets increasingly difficult to keep track of how much you actually owe, how much interest you’ll be paying each month, and what the minimum fee will be. And let’s face it: the recent economic recession hasn’t made things any easier. Even though you’re still responsible for what you spend, it’s pretty hard to get ahead when it seems like nothing is working in your favor.
You may not realize that millions of Americans feel the same exact way. Millions of Americans struggle with their finances, and that’s exactly why there are so many companies that can address financial issues -- specifically personal debt.
But there are quite a few things you can do on your own, too. Paying off your debts is a little bit like trying to lose weight. You have to work hard in the beginning, and you have to make a lot of sacrifices. But when you finally start seeing results, it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s a small reassurance that you are responsible, and that you can handle your own money.
First, you need to come up with a budget plan. You’ll need to figure out what your spending habits are, and where you can afford to make some sacrifices. It may be a little painful, but you have to look at the whole picture -- your total income, your essential expenses, and all of your bills.
If you find out that you can probably cover everything (with just a little more self-restraint), then your next step will be to prioritize your debts. Experts often advise debtors to try paying off cards with high interest rates and cards with low balances first -- that way, there will be fewer lines of credit to manage.
You can also try talking to your creditors, and explaining your situation. Believe it or not, lenders don’t want to go to court just as much as you don’t want to go. Sometimes showing your creditors that you’re actively working to manage your debt (something like showing proof of seeing a financial adviser may help convince them that you’re doing this) will convince them to work with you to create a new payment plan with a lower interest rate or a longer payment period.
If you really don’t think that you can cover everything, or even if you’re just feeling a little too stressed, you can always seek professional help from a financial adviser. These advisers will be able to talk and negotiate with creditors, and they’ll be able to take away some of the stress. Of course, bankruptcy is always an option -- but it’s something you should only consider as a last resort. When you find a good financial adviser, he or she will be able to assess your situation and help you figure out which strategy is best for you. If bankruptcy appears to be the only choice left, then this person will be able to help you through the process.
Paying off credit card debt is easily one of the most stressful things in life (probably because it seems like it never ends). But you should always know that there’s a solution available, and that there are plenty of resources to get you through it.