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We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Do you have credit card debt that you want to pay off quickly? Millions of Americans in their late 20s and early 30s will be outlived by their credit card debt, so it’s time to take charge now. If you have credit card debt, then there are several simple steps you can take to eliminate it in less time. Pay Off the Highest Interest Rate Card First Invest any extra cash you have every month into paying off your highest interest rate card, while still paying the minimums on your others. Once you’ve paid off your highest interest rate card, begin applying all your extra cash to the card with the next highest rate, and continue paying the minimums on the remaining cards.
Paying off the highest interest card first is the fastest way to eliminate your credit card debt and reduce your monthly interest fees. But if your goal is to pay off a single credit card as quickly as possible, then you’ll want to attack the card with the lowest balance first. This can also leave you with a huge feeling of accomplishment knowing that you’ve paid off one of your credit cards in full. Don’t Use Your Cards The easiest and fastest way to eliminate credit card debt is to stop using your credit cards.
Plan to pay in cash and you will automatically spend less. In fact, research has shown that consumers are willing to pay twice as much for an item when they are paying with a credit card as opposed to cash. Get Organized Make a spreadsheet detailing which cards you have, how much debt you have on each, and their interest rates. You’ll also want to know what your total amount of debt is, and make a game plan on how you’ll begin paying it off. You won’t be able to tackle a problem if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. Set a Budget Make a budget detailing what you spend. Are there areas where you can save money?
This extra money can be used to pay down your credit cards even faster. C, or cutting unnecessary luxury expenses, do what you need to do to reduce your spending. Request a Lower Interest Rate Call each credit card company and request a lower interest rate. Lower rates can mean lower monthly payments and fees, so every payment will pay off more of the principal. If you have good credit or you’ve been offered a lower rate by a competing credit card, make sure to mention that to the customer service rep. Make Two Minimum Payments Per Month Making two minimum payments every month can be your key to living debt-free in no time.
Each time you make a payment, your average daily balance is reduced, which results in lower interest charges. This will result in paying off debt at a much faster speed and can also help boost your credit score. Transfer a Balance If you have a credit card with a high interest rate, you may want to consider a balance transfer. Consolidate Your Debt It may be in your best interest to consolidate your debt. This can usually be done by borrowing money from a bank, private lender, or a peer-to-peer lender, such as Lending Club and Prosper. You can use the loan to pay off all of your credit cards at once and then focus on paying one larger loan payment per month.
Continue Paying Your Cards Off Once you’ve paid one credit card off, it may be tempting to pocket what you would normally spend on that bill every month. Don’t Close the Card While it may seem like a good idea to close your card after you’ve paid it off, this is actually not the best route. Your credit score is based partly on your credit utilization ratio, which is calculated based on the amount of credit you are using versus the total amount of credit in your name. Once you close the card, there is less credit in your name. This will cause your debt utilization ratio to increase, which will hurt you in the end.