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How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Aug 17, 2007
Each year more and more people find themselves drowning in a pool of credit card debt. While it is comforting to some degree to be able to take solace in the fact that you're not alone, most people would also prefer being able to eliminate the credit card debt all together. While it can seem almost impossible to pay down credit card debt once you have attained it, the good news is that there are in fact ways to make it quite possible to pay off your credit card debt and enjoy the freedom it affords you.

First, it is important to understand that you absolutely must have a plan for paying off your credit card debt. Worrying about it won't help you get out of debt any faster. You must put pen to paper and develop a plan for paying it off. The first step you must take in developing such a plan is by analyzing your existing budget to determine where you can use additional money to pay down the debt. Look at luxury cost areas that you can cut out and use those funds to pay on your credit card. Consider options like packing your lunch at home instead of eating out, cutting down on the number of coffees you purchase each week, etc. Once you start thinking about it, you may be surprised at the amount of money you can come up with to put toward your credit card debt.

Second, it is extremely important to understand that you will never get out of debt by paying only the monthly minimum. At that rate, you'll be lucky if you have it paid off by the time you retire. You must take aggressive action and start at least doubling your payments in order to make a dent in your debt.

If you have more than one credit card, take a look at which cards have the highest interest rates. The card or cards with the highest interest rates should receive your first attention. In the event that you can't afford to pay more than the minimum amount on all of your cards, focus on the card(s) with the highest interest rate first. When those are paid off you can then take that money and apply it to the other cards. Slowly, but surely you will pay them off.

It can also be helpful to look at the ways in which you can reduce the interest rates on your cards. One way to do this would be to simply call up your credit card companies and request a lower rate. Of course, they don't have to grant the lower rate to you but if you point out that you'll take your business elsewhere if they don't, they might quickly change their tune. Transferring balances to a lower interest rate card can also be helpful as long as you close the original account so you are not tempted to run it back up again.

By following these strategies and remaining dedicated to paying off your credit cards, you'll have the debt eliminated before you know it. Just remember that while it may seem as though it is taking forever and you may be tempted to quit, following these strategies will help you eliminate your debt far sooner than just letting things go as they are.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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