One of those things in life where everyone has their own methods is the aspect of finances. Balancing and paying off credit card debt is not in any way different. Debt can easily affect many things and potentially inhibit you from achieving some important goals and this is why paying off credit card debt should take priority. Debt can lower your credit score depending on the size of the debt. A substantial dent can also be made by credit card debt in your monthly budget if you do not take care of it as soon as possible.
When a borrower chooses to prioritize getting out of debt, the path they take will depend heavily on how much debt they’ve accumulated, their income level, family size, and other relevant situations. That being said, there are tried-and-true options for reducing credit card debt to zero that will work in most cases.
This is one of the most well-known methods and it is relatively straight forward to understand and use. Take as much money as you can and throw it at your card with the smallest balance while making the minimum payments on all your credit cards. Keep this process up until you have fully paid all. You can then take all the money you were using to pay off that card and begin using it to pay off the card with the next smallest balance. In no time, you will discover your credit cards are paid off.
Using a balance transfer to assist in paying off your credit cards can be useful. This technique consists of transferring debt on a card with a high APR to a card with a lower one, effectively paying off one card and compiling your debt together, allowing you to pay it off quicker due to the lower interest. Be careful when using this method, however. Plan to not use the card you transferred the balance from any longer. Also, expect a higher monthly payment on the credit card you shifted the balance to.
Similar to the Snowball method, the Avalanche method utilizes focusing on paying off one credit card at a time. The difference between the two methods is that the Avalanche method requires paying as much money as you can towards the card with the highest APR first while making regular minimum payments to all of your other credit cards. Once you’ve paid off the card with the highest APR, take all of the money you were putting towards that card and begin paying off the card with the next highest APR. The benefit of this method is paying less overall by doing away with the highest APR’s first.
If you are prepared to pay all debt at once, this debt settlement is the best method to use. Contacting you creditor can get your debt reduced sometimes by half or more if you have some money set aside and your goal is to pay off your credit. There are also some companies who can help with negotiations. The only thing is they charge expensive fees. Making the call to your credit card company yourself is often the best idea.
Bankruptcy may be an option to consider when you find yourself in a position where you are falling behind on credit card payments and your debt is severely impacting you and your family’s lives. However, it would be best if you never resorted to filing for bankruptcy until other options have been exhausted first. Bankruptcy will seriously and negatively impact your credit health for 7-10 years, which can prevent you from purchasing or refinancing a home or car, impact you hiring for a new job, and make it difficult to open any new lines of credit.