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A few Simple Tips on how to get out of Credit Card Debt

If you are carrying hefty balances on your credit cards or have more than one credit card, chances are you’re paying a minimal amount toward each balance without a sound strategy for getting out of debt. And if you’re having trouble making your monthly minimum payments, learning how to get out of credit card debt may seem like a difficult task. But a few simple tips can help you get your finances on track and pay off your balances sooner.

  • Trade your plastic for cash.It can be tough to put away the plastic, but it’s one of the smartest things you can do to get out of credit card debt. Each time you charge a purchase to your credit card, you run the risk of paying more for that item than had you paid cash. That’s because adding to your current debts without paying off your balance each month will increase the finance charge that your credit card company can charge you. Do yourself a favor and use cash until you’ve paid down your balance in its entirety.
  • Pay more every month.It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not always easy to find extra money each paycheck. Look for simple ways to cut down on your spending – bring your lunch to work instead of buying it, take public transportation instead of driving, or rent movies at home instead of going to the theater. The little savings can really add up, and they can help you pay more toward your bills to get out of credit card debt quicker.
  • Pay debts smallest to largest.One of the reasons so many consumers get caught in the cycle of revolving debt is they feel overwhelmed by the number of bills they receive each month. One smart move is to pay off cards with smaller balances first, so you have one less payment to make every month. Once you pay off smaller balances, consider closing those accounts so you can focus more of your energy toward your larger credit card bills to get out of credit card debt sooner.
  • Pay down high interest cards.Take a look at your monthly statements or the credit card companies’ fine print to learn how much interest you’re being charged for purchases. If you have several cards with high balances, you’ll have a better chance of getting out of credit card debt if you pay your higher interest cards first. And once you pay off those cards with higher balances, do yourself a favor by closing those accounts so you don’t get yourself back in the same situation.
  • Transfer balances to a low interest card. Another way to rid yourself of high interest credit card balances and get out of credit card debt for good is to transfer those balances to a card with a low interest rate. If you have multiple credit cards, see which one offers the lowest interest rate or a special rate for balance transfers and consider rolling balances onto that card. While you’ll still need to be diligent about making your monthly payments, you may incur lower finance charges each month. While opening a new account isn’t always the best strategy, it may be an option worth considering if you’re serious about using the card just for a balance transfer. Many credit card companies offer low introductory interest rates for balance transfers, and that can help you save hundreds or more over the long term.   
  • Consider debt consolidation. If getting out of credit card debt is a task too overwhelming to tackle yourself, it may be time to enlist the help of a debt consolidation expert. There are many reputable companies that can help you consolidate all of your existing credit card balances and other unsecured debts into one monthly payment, potentially saving you hundreds or thousands over the life of your debts. You’ll get out of credit card debt fast but will pay your debt – in the form of a loan – back to the debt consolidation company. Read more on debt consolidation loans.
  • Check out alternatives to debt consolidation.If you need to get out of credit card debt and seek the help of an outside resource, a debt consolidation loan isn’t your only option. Consider two alternatives offered by the providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services: a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or Debt Settlement Plan (DSP), both of which can help you pay off credit cards and other unsecured bills.

-The DMP helps by consolidating all of your unsecured debt into one payment, often with lower interest rates and shorter repayment terms than your existing debts.

-The DSP is often an option for consumers who can’t afford to pay their monthly debts and get out of credit card debt on their own. A debt settlement company will work with your creditors on your behalf to negotiate to pay back a portion of your balances. Debt settlement will have a negative impact on your credit, so it’s important to explore this and all your options in depth before making a decision.

Getting out of credit card debt is one of the smartest financial moves you can make to take control of your future and live debt-free for life. With just a few, small changes in your daily and monthly routine, you may be able to pay down your balances more quickly and get out of credit card debt now.

For more advice on getting out of credit card debt, visit the CareOne community forums, where you’ll hear from the CareOne Expert and consumers just like you about how they took the right steps to live debt-free. 

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