If you're drowning in credit card debt, you may struggle with the idea that it's possible to eventually rid yourself of this burden. While it's a long road, there are many steps you can take to pay off credit card debt and regain control of your finances.
Before you can formulate a plan to pay off your credit card debt, it's important to put an end to your spending. If you're always adding more debt to your current balance, you'll never make the progress you're seeking.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Pay off a chunk of your balance: If you come into money, such as via a tax refund or work bonus, use it to take a big chunk out of your credit card balance. This is one of the quickest ways to make progress.
- Gain confidence: For example, if you're able to quickly pay off your credit card with the lowest balance, it'll give you confidence that you're moving in the right direction.
- Negotiate with your credit card company: Don't be shy about contacting your credit card company, explaining your situation and negotiating better terms. For instance, if you're interest rate is extremely high, ask for a reduction. This can save you a lot of money when carrying a balance from month to month.
While these ideas can help you make progress, there are some things you should never do:
- Don't use a payday loan: This will never help, as super-high interest rates will lock you into the cycle over the long run. With this approach, you're simply taking on more debt.
- Don't ignore it: You're in a tough spot, but ignoring your credit card debt will only make things worse.
- Don't assume that making the minimum payment is enough: Sure, you'll eventually get to where you want to be, but, depending on your balance, it could take several years. And that's only if you don't add more debt along the way.
If you have tried everything and realize that paying off your credit card debt in a timely manner will never happen, don't hesitate to learn more about bankruptcy.
For instance, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can eliminate some or all of your credit card debt, thus giving you the fresh start you're dreaming of.
Once you realize that bankruptcy is the best solution, you can learn more about the filing process, your legal rights and what to expect.