Credit card debt is insidious because it can come up on even the best of us faster than we think. All it takes for most people is one financial catastrophe to wind up under a mountain of debt that can at times feel impossible to get out from underneath. Fortunately, it is possible to get out of debt.
Monthly Budget and Snowball Effect
The first step is to relax and create a monthly budget. This will not only help you to see where your money is going every month, but it helps you to prioritize. A good thing to do at the same time is to prioritize your debts. Make the largest payments towards the debt with the highest rate of interest. As you pay that one down, or even off, you then add that money that would have gone towards that debt towards the next largest interest rate loan, and so on and so forth until the debt is paid back in full. Only then do you add the money freed up in your monthly budget towards other expenses or lifestyle improvement.
Reach Out to a Consultant
Sometimes even with the best budget, it might not be possible with your current income to pay your debts as you are. That’s when reaching out to consultants can help. Credit card issuers may be inclined to negotiate towards lower monthly payments, or even debt reduction outright.
Try to Make Payments on Time
The most important step you can take towards improving your credit is to do your best to make your payments on time. It is one of the single greatest factors that credit reporting bureaus look at when determining your credit score. Even if you negotiate reduced payments with your creditors, making payments on time will help to improve your score.
Debt consolidation can be a fantastic way of getting out of debt quickly when the snowball method fails. Instead of paying down multiple loans at varying interest rates, you take out a single loan at one interest rate that pays them all off, and then you spend your time paying down that instead. It can be a great option to avoid having to deal with multiple loans with varying interest rates and payment dates.
Cut Up the Cards
If you know that you don’t have the self-restraint necessary to not overspend on your credit cards while you pay off the balance, then it might be beneficial to cut them up or at least hand them over to a responsible third party for safekeeping. Once your debts are paid, you can learn to use credit responsibly again.