If you are serious about paying off credit card debt to become debt free, the first step is to get your spending under control. Create a budget and start tracking spending, including necessary monthly payments such as a car lease and mortgage payment, and then start to dissect every purchase that is made and decide if it was needed or not. It does take discipline and patience to stick to a budget but when successful you can find ways to pay off any credit card debt now.
Use Cash Instead of Plastic
When you have cash in hand and use it for purchases you actually get to see the money leaving your hand and going to the cashier, and may make you think longer if the purchase is necessary or not. When you use a card you can swipe and not think twice, especially if it’s a credit card, you do not have to worry about the purchase until the next statement date, and if you always follow that mentality chances are you have charges that are adding up deal with next month; hopefully you have the funds to pay the balance.
Pay the Card with the Highest Interest Rate
The worst thing about credit card debt is paying high amounts of interest and feeling like you can never put a dent into the principle balance. The highest the interest, the larger the burden, so if you have many accounts, pay the largest towards the highest interest until it is paid off, then move down the line to the next highest interest.
Smallest Balance First
You can feel proud when you see a credit card balance go to zero, so if you have cards with small amounts, it may be best to track your own process by paying off the small accounts first. At least those will be out of the way and then you can focus on one account, even though it may be large, it will get better. In fact, closing out revolving and utilized credit can actually help your credit score to boot. Check out credit repair services for other ideas on minimizing your debt and raising your credit score.
Use a Balance Transfer
If you have many accounts or varying interest rates you may be able to take advantage of a low APR balance transfer to another account, where you can put your whole credit card debt and make large payments where everything will go to principle instead of interest. The promo rates are typically for a year or two at the most, so do your best to pay off by the promo expiration or you will then get hit with a high interest rate on the remaining.