3 Of The Best Ways To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt

Some would say that credit cards are a necessary evil in this day and age. The personal check is all but gone, and cash seems to disappear as soon as it is withdrawn. The reality is that a credit card can be either your best friend or your worst nightmare, depending on how you use it. The problem is that if you are a credit card newbie, it is very easy to find yourself in over your head.

Carrying a credit card balance doesn’t seem like too much of a problem — until one day when you look at your account and the realize that the monthly minimum payment is more than you can afford, and your balance continues to increase whether you use the card or not.

Statistics show that the average American carries as much as $16,700 in revolving credit card debt. That means most people are barely making the minimum payments, leading to exorbitant interest rates and ruining their credit score.

If you have found yourself in a bad credit card revolving cycle, take heart. The good news is that although getting out of credit card debt might not be easy, it is doable if you take the right steps to get yourself caught up and to stop the bleed.

Stop using credit cards

Many people think that they simply can’t exist without using their credit cards. The reason is because the average American lives well outside their means. You can ditch the credit card craze if you start to budget wisely and prioritize. Sometimes that means separating a “want” from a “need.” If you are a spendthrift type personality, knowing the difference is not so easy.

There is no doubt that using a credit card is way more convenient than using a check or cash, but there are other options. Instead of using a credit card that allows you to go above your means, use a debit card or a prepaid credit card. A debit card won’t allow you to spend more than you have.

Debit Cards are limited by the amount of money you have in your account. The only drawback with using your debit card is that your problem might be with budgeting. Although a debit card won’t let you carry a balance, it also won’t stop you from making impulse buys that can empty your account.

If you use a prepaid card, then it will force you to budget how much to spend without giving you the option to overdo it. You know exactly how much you have to spend, and you can’t dip into your account for any more once that limit has been reached.

Put more towards the principal

When you carry a revolving balance, making the minimum payment will do nothing more than pay for the interest. When you pay the minimum every month, you aren’t even touching the money you owe. Your balance will not only remain; it could even increase if the interest rate increases. If you want to pay off your credit card debt, then you have to start making more than just the minimum monthly payment.

Finding ways to put more money into paying off the credit card can help decrease the principal. Using a calculator to find out how much you would benefit from paying extra is a great way to see how long it will take you to pay off the card — and maybe will motivate you to put a little extra towards paying it down. You would be amazed at what a difference a small amount can make when it goes straight towards the principal instead of just the interest.

Save for the things you want

The best way to get yourself out of online credit card debt is to get out of the mentality that you have to have everything you want, right now. Instead of making purchases when you want them, start  budgeting your money to put some away and save up for those extras that make you happy.

Instead of buying something with the money you have monthly, use some to pay down your credit cards and save some to put away. When you do have enough to buy what you want, you will find that you’ll appreciate it much more and that it will help to do away with a whole lot of impulse buys on things that you really didn’t need after all.

Credit card debt can feel like a noose around your neck. Take a breath — getting it under control is not impossible. In fact, it is really about having a plan and sticking to it. Getting out of credit card debt feels a whole lot better than having “things” that you really don’t need or care about.

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