Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting out of Credit Card Debt

It feels like just about everyone - and their Auntie Harriet - is struggling to reduce their overall credit card debt. If you have credit card debt, then take heart: getting out of this type of debt is not only possible, but it's probable! You just need the right, you need to take action to reduce credit card debt now. Here are some handy tips to help:

1. Stop spending now. That's right, it's an obvious one, and yet so many of us just don't apply it to ourselves. If debt has you worried to death (worried to DEBT, I sometimes like to refer to it), then you need to take drastic action. Don't make those cards easily accessible anymore. Some people keep their cards with a trusted family member, like a parent or spouse. (Not to a shopaholic please!) Plus, remember that credit card charges also include those automatic payments, so if you have a bunch of those on your card -- change to another type of payment, so that your debt doesn't continue to grow.

2. Ask for a reduced interest rate on the credit card. I've done this successfully in the past - simply called the credit card company and asked them to reduce my interest rate. Granted, this is only a doable option if you have a good standing and have been making regular payments. But, it's surprisingly easy to do. If you've received lower interest credit card offers in the mail, KEEP those and quote from them. The credit card company doesn't want to lose your business, and may lower the rate to keep you from transferring your balance to another card.

3. Add it up. Add up the actual debt that you have on all of your credit cards, including major cards and store credit cards. This sometimes shocking number can be a great motivator to keep you from spending needlessly. Keep this number posted in your wallet - possibly on a Post It note right on the card itself - it'll be like a warning to you whenever you see it!

4. Multiply the payments. Whenever you get an unexpected sum of money - from a family member as a gift, from a bit of overtime you worked, from an unexpected freelance job - be determined to use some of that money to pay down your credit card. Even an extra ten bucks here and there will add up greatly.

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