Credit card debt is a stumbling block to your financial freedom. Your credit rating will suffer and enough credit card debt will have a disadvantage effect on your access to credit in the future – by law, the credit bureaus are allowed to keep negative information on your report for up to seven years.
If you’ve found yourself or someone close to you in credit card debt, here is a step-by-step guide which should help bring such person out of debt provided they are followed judiciously.
1. Don’t Worsen the Situation
When in credit card debt, you probably want to reduce or out rightly stop charging expenses to your credit card. You could rely on a savings portfolio rather than continue digging yourself in debt. If you have more than one credit card, consider transferring balance from the higher interest card unto the other card charging lower interest. Where this isn’t possible, hide-away the higher interest card and use the second card charging lower interest for emergencies only.
2. Be Displeased
The only way to get out of credit card debt is to be displeased about the situation. When you feel unhappy, you can then motivate yourself to change your situation. This is a tool all debtors have in their possession yet often fail to use.
3. Set a Goal
When getting out of credit card debt, a goal will ensure you keep pushing. Create a smaller goal and when that’s accomplished, raise the bar a little higher. Don’t create mission-impossible goals. Make sure your goal is something you can afford to meet. As you work your way towards financial freedom, you’ll begin to feel better and get motivated to keep paying back what you owe.
4. Follow Up on a Payback Strategy
While some experts advise debtors to pay back the higher interest rate cards first, others advise that the lower interest cards be paid first due to the motivational effects that would be generated as you clear the smaller debt. Paying back higher interest cards could save you more money in the long run but if you should consider paying off the card that has the lowest balance.
5. Generate Extra Income
If you aren’t generating enough, find a part time job. When it comes to credit card debt, just a few hundred dollars in extra income could ensure you meet your target as at when due.
6. Find Competition
With millions of Americans in credit card debt, there’s probably someone close to you wishing to get out of debt. Having a partner to compete with will keep the both of you motivated. When you’re behind, jealousy and that human tendency to always want to be ahead will keep you going. This doesn’t imply you should give up without your partner. A lot of debtors have gotten out of credit card single handedly. So don’t relent on your efforts for whatever reason your partner opts out.
7. Keep Pushing
Similar to running a marathon, you’re likely to get tired or frustrated at any point in the journey. This is why it’s so important to set goals easily accomplished, for example if you owe $5k, you could decide to pay back $400 every 2 weeks. Sticking to this goal means you can remove that much from your monthly income.
No matter how tough the journey is, keep it at the back of your mind that’ll you’re getting somewhere – a place of financial freedom.
Lastly, having debt on multiple cards doesn’t mean repaying all at once. With 5 cards, keep paying a little above the minimum payment on four cards and place all emphasis on one card. When you’re done with the first card, move on to the next and so on.
A case involving huge debt may require the assistance of a debt consolidation agency. These agencies are better able to help you, especially when debt repayment is likely to affect your lifestyle – which you’ll kick against when doing it on your own.
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