If you are determined to get out of credit card debt you need a plan. Looking through your credit card statements and figuring out how much you are paying in interest rates will be no joy. However, you need to face the reality of the credit card debt in order to overcome it. Once you initiate and follow through on your plan of action, you will feel in control of your debt and not have the debt control you.
First you will need to gather all your unsecured credit card statements. List the amount owed and the interest rate APR you are paying on the card. Once this is figured out, you need to see if it is a good option to consolidate and combine your credit card debt into one payment. If you are paying 19% APR interest on one credit card, 21% on another and 14% APR on another card, it probably would be a good idea to check into doing a credit card balance transfer. Once approved, you will only need to make one payment a month and the interest rate on many of the newer credit cards is usually very low. If your credit is in good standing, it should not be difficult to do a credit card balance transfer onto another card.
If your credit card interest rates are high, you’ve been late a few times or went over your credit limit. You may not be approved to transfer your balance onto any other card. You might be paying anywhere from 21% to 30% APR on several of your cards. Call your creditors and tell them you are having a money shortage and might have to look into a balance transfer program, but you want to check with them first to see if they can lower your APR? They usually can and will do it right over the phone. For some reason, many people are reluctant to try this. Probably because the fear of someone saying “No.” Most creditors want to keep your business, even if you are not their ideal credit card carrying customer. If they do say no, just try back next month and move on to the next creditor to call.
After knowing where you stand with your creditors, your plan of action can be followed in these simple steps:
- No more new lines of credit and no more charging on the credit cards. Leave them at home.
- Pay the credit cards that have the highest APR first with the bulk of your money, pay the lowest APR cards the lowest amount acceptable or at least $10 over the minimum payment.
- When your highest APR card is paid off, move the money over to pay the second highest APR credit card and so on.
This type of pay-down strategy is recommended by some of the leading financial guru’s because it works. Depending upon the amount of debt you have, this may take some time. But with a plan of action that you are committed to, it will happen. It is all about taking control of your debt.
After a few months of doing this, see if you are eligible for a balance transfer credit card again. When creditors see your regular record of good paying habits, you should be able to acquire the balance transfer. If not, just stay the course. You will soon be in control of your debt!