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How do you Stop Spiraling Credit Card Debt?

Aug 17, 2007
In today's world, when even the most modest financial transactions are made via plastic, it's easier than ever to get caught up in a spiraling twist of rising credit card debt. You don't MEAN to do it, but an outing charged on your credit card here, the groceries paid for with credit cards there, a pair of theatre tickets and a drink at the pub after work - and before you know it, the interest kicks in and that 15 evening out has turned into another 5 in interest charges and then there's the late fees on top of that, and the extra that you pay to advance yourself a few quid till pay day - this wasn't at all what you had in mind when you decided to apply for a credit card!

If your credit cards are managing your life instead of you using them to manage your money, it's time for you to step in, take the reins and get control of your credit card UK debt. Yes, that's far easier to say than it is to do, but there are proven ways to bring the spiral of credit card debt to a dead halt. Here are some methods that work to curb runaway debt from financial and debt experts.

1. Stop using your credit cards.
The very first step in stopping debt from piling up is to stop adding to it. Put away your credit cards and start paying cash for everything. If you like the convenience of paying with plastic, use your debit card rather than charging things to a credit card. You still don't have to carry cash on you, but you won't be paying any interest on debit transactions.

2. Set a firm goal for yourself.
As simple a thing as it seems, setting a goal for yourself - in writing - can make a major difference in your determination to rid yourself of debt once and for all. Sit down with all your credit card bills and total up all that you owe, then set a target date to be completely debt free.

3. Use the divide and conquer method to bring credit card debt to manageable levels.
There is a tried and true method that brings your debt tumbling down more quickly than any other. Some call it the snowball - I call it divide and conquer. The idea is to set your sites on ONE credit card and knock it out of the picture. Add up the minimum payments on all of your credit cards, then figure out how much more than that total amount you can put toward your bills each month. Now - choose the card on which you owe the least amount. When you make out your accounts for the month, pay JUST the minimum on every credit account but that one. Put the rest of your bill payment money on that one card. Do that until you've completely paid off that card - then do the same with the next highest account. With each card you knock off, you'll have more money that you can apply each month to the next card in line. You'll be surprised how quickly your debt comes down.

4. OR apply for a credit card for debt consolidation.
Pay off your credit cards by taking out yet another credit card? A 0% balance transfer card is another way to rein in runaway debt. Nearly every company offers at least one balance transfer credit card. Compare terms and rates at comparison sites to find the one with the best terms for you, then apply for a credit card at comparison websites and transfer your outstanding balances from the rest of your cards to one with no interest at all. From there, apply the same principle as the divide and conquer - figure out how much of your monthly income you can put toward eliminating your debt, and pay it faithfully, on time every month till you owe nothing.
About the Author
Jon Francis has been involved with finance for many years! With an in-depth knowledge of the credit card UK market help helps others get the best from a credit card.
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