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"The biggest benefits of being on a program is having credit card interest rates lowered and getting all my bills paid on time."Roland H., Medina, OHCareOne Customer

How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt on Your Own

If you’re searching for ways to eliminate credit card debt, you’re not alone. Many consumers have found themselves deep in credit card debt at one time or another. And it’s no wonder – we’re bombarded with ads and promotions touting the benefits of paying with plastic. From airline miles to points you can trade for cash to special deals at retailers, there always seems to be a reason to open another card and spend more. 

The key to credit card debt elimination is to tackle your bills as soon as they become a problem. Having trouble paying on time, or notice that you’re unable to pay the minimums due? These are likely signs that it’s time to evaluate your financial situation and figure out a plan to get out of debt now.

Many consumers opt to seek help from a debt relief company in order to eliminate credit card debt. And that can be a great option, if you do your research and work with a trusted, reputable company that offers multiple options, ongoing support and money management education. Another option is to tackle your finances on your own to eliminate credit card debt.

Tips on Going it Alone

  1. Pay on time, every time. The most important thing you can do to eliminate credit card debt is to pay your bill by the due date each and every month. Interest and late fees add up when you miss payments or don’t pay the full balance each month, so do what you can to pay as much as possible toward your credit card balance every month.
  2. Consolidate your balances onto one card. Instead of spreading your purchases and debt across several cards, get rid of your higher interest rate cards by transferring balances to a card that has a lower interest rate. Not only will you lessen your financial burden since you’ll pay less interest; it may also be easier to track your spending and payments when you have only one bill to pay every month. With just one monthly payment, you may find you can eliminate your credit card debt sooner.
  3. Create a monthly budget. Eliminating credit card and other debt requires proper planning and taking action. If you don’t have a monthly budget, start one now. Include your income and any other money you receive each month, as well as your monthly expenses. You may quickly see that you’re spending more than you’d like on non-essential items, or you’ll find that you can trim some expenses. Find ways to use your credit card less, and pay more toward your balance each month. If you’re serious about eliminating your credit card debt fast, it may mean cutting back on luxuries or even getting a part-time job until you’re closer to paying down your bills.
  4. Use a credit card calculator. Credit card calculators won’t do all the work for you, but they will help you determine how much you’ll need to pay each month in order to eliminate your credit card debt in a set time period. A good credit card calculator will allow you to input variables such as your current card balance and interest rate. Best of all, you’ll see how much you can potentially save by paying just a little more toward your balance each month.
  5. Call creditors to negotiate better interest rates. The average credit card interest rate is more than 14 percent – and some are higher than 20 percent! Credit card companies make most of their money off the interest you owe when you don’t pay your balance in full each month. The higher the interest rate, the more you’ll pay. If you consistently make your payments on time, call your credit card companies to ask for a lower interest rate. Let them know if you’ve received low interest rate card offers from other companies, and they’ll likely match or beat the rate offered by a competitor.
  6. Refuse offers to open new credit card accounts. Regardless of the special offers and promotions, don’t fall into the trap of having more than one major credit card, especially when trying to eliminate credit card debt. The more cards you have, the more likely you are to carry balances on more than one. Concentrate your efforts on paying down existing debt, rather than adding to it with a new credit card, and pay with cash instead of credit to keep your balance from skyrocketing.
  7. Pay, pay, pay every chance you get. It’s obvious but worth repeating – pay against your credit card balance often. Most credit card companies will allow you to pay more than once a month, so if it’s easier for you to split your monthly payment into two, do it. And anytime you have a little extra in your bank account, consider making a payment to your credit card company. The more you pay and the more often you pay it, the sooner you can eliminate credit card debt and take control of your finances.

If going it alone feels too overwhelming, or you try to eliminate credit card debt on your own without success, remember you can always seek help from a reputable debt relief company. Be sure to do your homework – look for a company that offers multiple solutions, realistic debt relief plans, financial education or money management tips, and ongoing support while you pay off your bills and eliminate credit card debt.

The Providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services offer credit card calculators and other money management tools to help you budget, save, and become debt-free. Learn more by visiting www.careonecredit.com.  

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