Staying motivated is an important part of paying off credit card debt. In the beginning, paying off debt can be exciting but as time progresses one can become discouraged in the snail crawl of debt repayment.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help pay off credit card debt:
- Have a plan. Create a credit card debt payment plan and know your motivations. It’s important to understand the bigger picture to keep you focused on repaying a debt as a priority overspending. When you understand what you hope to accomplish after credit card payoff, you may notice a shift in your savings, spending and debt repayment habits.
- Pay more than the minimum. When possible always pay more than the minimum payment amount. Check your credit card statements on the best-recommended amount to pay off the balances in 3 years rather than 20 years. Adding a few extra dollars each payment can go a long way in helping you reduce the interest paid and the time it will take to payoff the credit cards.
- Balance transfers. You might have credit card debt with high interest and can easily transfer those balances to a 0% interest rate card. This option is great especially when you’ve stopped relying on credit cards for purchases. Credit card balance transfers is a good way to lower your interest rate on existing balances but you aren’t actually paying off debt but shuffling it around. Use credit card balance transfers as a tool to achieve debt pay off not a solution.
- Consolidate debt. It is easier to pay off one debt than to pay off multiple credit cards. If you’re able to get approved, consolidate your cards to make one easy payment. Again, stop using the credit cards and focus your efforts into paying off the consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans may lower your monthly payment compared with the aggregate monthly payments of multiple credit cards. You’ll also benefit from making one payment as opposed to many. Even if you do find savings from consolidation use that monthly savings towards repayment of the principal loan amount each month. There are many debt consolidation loans offered by banks, credit unions, and financing companies. However, make sure you understand the terms and the total cost of borrowing before signing the agreement.
- Use the debt snowball or debt avalanche method. You can choose structure your credit card debt payments in a way that motivates you. With the debt snowball, you pay the lowest balance first regardless of the interest rate. When you’ve paid the balance in full, you roll that payment into another credit card’s minimum balance payment and so on. The debt avalanche makes you focus on paying the highest interest rate credit cards first.