So many people are completely buried by credit card debt, that you even wonder if they understand what is causing it in the first place. Granted, credit card debt comes at us fast and furious-every day we receive new offers of cards from credit card companies and stores. Do a lot of people out there look upon credit cards as if they won the lottery, or as if they found a treasure they can spend any way they like?
Well, whether they understand it or not, most people have too much credit card debt and need to find ways to eliminate it. First of all, stop creating more credit card debt. Anyone who is too tempted by buying things with plastic should put those cards away (or even cut all of them up except one for emergencies) and start paying cash for any necessary purchases. The interest rate you are paying on credit card debt is already increasing your balance; no need to add to it more. Disciplining yourself to save up for purchases or only to use cash for purchases, or do without will be a good training because once you have eliminated your debt, you will want to keep it that way. This new habit will make you examine your purchases more closely and only buy what is really necessary. You should make it a rule to never have more than 70% of your credit lines utilized at any one time. Better yet would be to get your balances lower than that and keep them there.
Debt consolidation is an option you may want to consider. Under debt consolidation, you transfer all of your outstanding credit card debts to one credit card, at a lower interest rate. It is important, however, to just use this new credit line to pay down the old lines. Using it as a new source of funds for purchases will just be counterproductive. When you are shopping for a debt consolidation loan, compare all of the interest rates, but also read the fine print. If there is a large balance transfer fee that may end up making you pay more, or the lower rate may be for a limited time and if your balance is not paid off, you pay end up paying more. You may want to check with your current card companies to see if they can match offers that you get from new companies. They may be interested in keeping you as a customer if they know they will lose you because you can get a better rate elsewhere.
Try to make higher and higher payments on your credit card debt. This will bring your balance down, and you will also be saving money because the interest will be charged on a lower balance. Start paying down the credit cards with the highest interest rates first and you will get the most benefit.
Above all, do not apply for a new credit card because you have maxed out your old one. You are really asking for trouble then, even assuming you find a credit card company that is stupid enough to grant you more credit. Don’t just limit your new found discipline to credit cards. Hold back from any other kinds of loans as well, such as personal or car loans. It doesn’t make sense to just switch from one form of torture to another.
You will learn over time how much you can do without and you will reap the benefits in the peace of mind you will have when you have a nice clean credit card debt and a good credit record.