There’s a million ways how and why you might’ve gotten yourself into this mess underemployment, gambling, overspending on Apple products but what matters most is you’re here now, and on the path to recovery. Plenty of others have walked this road before there’s hope for you yet! Here are nine ways to get rid of a stupid amount of credit card debt.
1. Budget and reduce your spending.
How’d you get here? Take a good hard look at your habits. Cut back in obvious ways and be diligent about where you put your money. Cancel that gym membership you never use, watch Netflix and chill instead of going out the less you continue to spend upfront the less you have to pay back.
2. Use your debit card... ...so long as paying off debt is a bigger priority than raising your credit score, as this won’t help you build credit or gain reward points. But actively using your debit instead of credit card will force you to keep better tabs on how much you spend.
3. Inform yourself. Learn how long it will take you to pay something off by using a debt calculator!
4. Pay more than the minimum. Sell boondoggle keychains on Etsy, make a blood donation, sell a kidney do whatever you need to do to pay over the suggested minimum. Heck, make an extra payment each month! The smaller your principal, the less interest you’ll pay.
5. Prioritize payments. If you have a balance on more than one card, don’t pay the minimum across the board on all cards. Check your statement to find out which card has the highest interest rate, and pay that one off first. One paid off card will cut down on how much you pay overall, and also make you feel like you accomplished something. Which is a back patting you may or may not deserve. I don’t know your life.
6. But if that doesn’t suit you, consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. Use peer-to-peer lending companies like Prosper to consolidate credit card debt at a lower interest rate. Fixed interest rates here can sometimes be 20 to 30 percent lower than a lot of credit cards.
7. Automate payments. Some credit cards and loans will give you a break on the interest rate if you do this. Lenders like the trustworthy. It also just encourages you to pay things on time and be conscious of your balance. You’ll think twice before spending $4.75 on a matcha latte if you know a big chunk of cash will be withdrawn automatically at the end of the month.
8. Ask creditors for lower interest rates. The success of this will definitely depend on if you have a good credit score, but a simple call with a hard bargain might just be the ticket. Tell the issuer you got a better deal from a competitor it’s worth a shot!
9. Abstain. Don’t use your cards while you lower balances. This has been proven effective.
Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content.
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