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Debt, Strategies, Tips

How To Pay off Credit Card Debt?

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Many holding empty wallet

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Question:

How do you pay off credit card debt?

Answer:

To start it is important to know your credit card balances as well as what your minimum payment on each is. It is also important to know your interest rates so you can develop a debt management plan.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to pay off credit card debt will vary depending on your individual situation. However, there are a few basic principles that can help you get started on the right track.

First, it’s important to increase your income if possible. This may mean finding a better-paying job or taking on extra work through freelancing or other side hustles. Even a small bump in income can make a big difference when it comes to paying down debt.

Second, take a close look at your spending and see where you can cut back. Even small reductions in expenses can free up money for paying off debt. Tracking your spending carefully can help you identify areas where you can make adjustments. Eliminate the use of the credit card and start using a debit card.

Last, consider using a debt payoff calculator to develop a specific plan for paying off your credit card debt. This can give you a concrete goal to work towards and help you stay on track. There are many different debt payoff calculators available online, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs. You can also use these fun coloring page print outs to track your debt payoff progress

Debt Snowball Vs Debt Avalanche

There are two main methods for paying off credit card debt: the debt snowball and the debt avalanche. The debt snowball method involves paying off your smallest debts first, while the debt avalanche method focuses on paying off your high-interest debt first. These debts are usually your credit card accounts, personal loans, student loans, and car loans.  Both methods have their pros and cons, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for you.

Problem:

You have a lot of credit card debt and you’re not sure how to pay it off.

Agitate:

You may have heard of the debt snowball and avalanche methods, but you’re not sure which one is best for you.

Solution:

The debt snowball method is a great option for people who want to see quick results. With this method, you focus on paying off your smallest balance first. This can give you a quick sense of progress and motivation to keep going. The debt avalanche method is a good choice for people who want to save money in the long run. With this method, you focus on paying off your higher-interest balances first. This can save you money on interest over time, but it may take longer to see results.

Both methods have their pros and cons, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for you. If you’re struggling with a lot of debt, it’s important to develop a plan and stick to it.

Alternatives

Balance transfer credit cards and debt consolidation loans are two of the more popular alternatives. I do not recommend either of these. A balance transfer credit card usually comes with balance transfer fees. While balance transfers do lower your overall interest rate for a set period of time, they also reduced your monthly minimum payments. By the time the promotional period expires, odds are you still will have a balance and more than likely have put a balance back onto your existing credit cards.  The issue is you did not address the why in your financial picture.

You can also try to get a personal loan to help pay off a credit card balance but given the state of your credit score, it’s highly unlikely that you would get a high enough loan to cover it. Even if you do you still may have not resolved the underlying cause of the debt and statistics show you are more likely to go back into debt before paying off your loan, therefore increasing rather than decreasing your overall debt load.

Debt Consolidation Loans

The same goes for a debt consolidation loan. It might reduce your total monthly payment amount and eliminate your credit card debts but all it does is shift your obligation.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that credit card balances increased for consumers who took out a debt consolidation loan.

The study showed that 43% of consumers who took out a debt consolidation loan increased their credit card balances within 18 months of taking out the loan.

This increase in credit card balances can be attributed to the fact that debt consolidation loans often have lower interest rates than credit cards.

While a lower interest rate may save you money in the short term, it can actually cost you more money in the long run if you continue to carry a balance on your credit cards.

I do not recommend debt consolidation loans for two reasons. The first reason is you are trading unsecured debt for secured debt. In other words, you are using your home as collateral for a loan that is used to pay off your credit cards. If you cannot make the payments on the loan, you could lose your home. The second reason I do not recommend debt consolidation loans is they usually have a longer repayment period than credit cards. This means you will be paying off the loan for a longer period of time, and you will end up paying more interest in the long run.

Debt Settlement

Another option is debt settlement. This option could potentially get rid of your debt faster but it will certainly spell trouble for your credit history and credit score. If you had excellent credit you will not after you get done with debt settlement. Most companies will not even begin to negotiate until after several missed payments. Missed payments mean late fees and even more debt is added to your balance. Not to mention interest charges that will continue to increase as well.

The key to success is to eliminate your credit card usage. Recognizing that you need a repayment plan or payment strategy for debt reduction and then implementing that plan by paying off debt quickly will provide you with interest savings which in turn will give you extra money to start paying the credit card companies faster. Whichever method you choose your goal should be to pay the entire balance as fast as possible.

Following these basic principles can help you pay off credit card debt more quickly and get your finances back on track. However, it’s always a good idea to speak with a financial coach if you have specific questions about your situation. They can help you develop a personalized plan for paying off debt and offer additional support and guidance while putting you on the right track for a debt-free life.

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person doing a budget and writing checks

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If you or someone you know is struggling with credit card debt, please don’t hesitate to contact J.R. Financial Coaching for help. We can provide you with a personalized plan for paying off your debt and offer additional support and guidance while putting you on the right track toward a debt-free life.

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